The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the Jamaica/German Automotive School (JAGAS) will be entering an agreement for the maintenance and repair of the bus company’s fleet.
Minister of Education, Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites, who made the revelation on Wednesday March 7, at the opening of a three-day Caribbean conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Hilton Rose Hall hotel in St. James, said the partnership will provide jobs for JAGAS trainees.
“This opens all kinds of possibilities that take the pressure off a beleagued consolidated fund, and provides employment for a vast number of our young people, male and female,” he told the gathering.
JAGAS, training academy of the HEART/Trust NTA, provides qualified automotive technicians and service personnel to meet the needs of the automotive industry.
The conference, organised by the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona School of Education, and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), encompassed several leaders in the TVET industry across the Caribbean.
Minister Thwaites challenged the participants to craft equivalency training programmes “that will benefit our people going forward."
He noted that as “we confront our Caribbean reality with the projections offered by the United Nations, which tell us that the majority of jobs going forward in the 21st Century are related to technical vocational skills, we are going to rely less on the large corporations and traditional state employers. Rather, it is the entrepreneurial and technical and vocational skills that are going to create the plethora of new businesses."
The Minister said educators must ensure that there is a well-educated and highly skilled workforce available to exploit such opportunities. “There is no second class position for technical and vocational education anymore,” he stressed.
The Minister commended UWI for its involvement in the promotion of TVET, and for sponsoring the conference.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter