Gov’t to give support to new aerospace academy


A clear indication has been given by Government that it will support the establishment of a central aerospace academy by the Caribbean Aerospace College (CAC), which will be operating out of the Vernamfield complex in Clarendon.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, told JIS News Wednesday (October 27) that there was a confluence of interests in the project, and government would be seeking ways to provide some level of support.
The College, which was established in March 2009, is designed to deliver training in aerospace and aviation in Jamaica.
Mr. Holness noted that government’s policy was to expand training in vocational and technical areas and, since the benefits from the field of aircraft maintenance engineer’s technicians are lucrative, although prohibitive because of costs, the government as a provider of opportunities would be considering providing either a subsidy or a loan.
“Right now we have not clearly defined if it will be a subsidy or a loan or both, but whatever it is, the government is interested in seeding that field,” he said.
The spin-off from getting the industry in Jamaica, he noted, would be quite beneficial, especially in the short term and in a subsidiary industries, like upholstering, involving large numbers of persons who could be rapidly trained and deployed.
“From the government’s perspective, that is where we would want to invest our funds, so that we could get more youngsters started in that at a lower cost,” he stated.
Executive Director of the Heart Trust/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/ NTA), Dr. Carolyn Hayle, thinks that becoming a stakeholder partner is well worth the while, and supported the Minister’s interest in subsidiary industries such as upholstering.
“That’s a low hanging fruit. We have the facilities at Garmex where we actually do upholstery now, and we can simply train the people in Old Harbour because we have the facility there and it’s quite easy to ramp-up,” she said.
The college is also receiving international support from the World Class Aviation Academy (WCAA) in the Netherlands, whose Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is currently in Jamaica sharing his knowledge of the air transport industry with the CAC and other key stakeholders.
While in Jamaica, the WCAA delegation is having discussions on a partnership agreement with CAC to facilitate a transfer of knowledge. They are also exploring ways of utilising the WCAA’s expertise in optimising their operations. The WCAA team leaves Jamaica Friday (October 29).

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