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Story Highlights

  • Just over $10 million will be spent by the Government of Japan to renovate the Crooked River Skills Training Centre in Northern Clarendon.
  • The renovation is aimed at reviving training opportunities for residents of that community and surrounding areas.
  • The Centre, which was constructed in 2006, will offer training in apiculture, barbering, cosmetology, and food and beverage (bar service).

Just over $10 million will be spent by the Government of Japan to renovate the Crooked River Skills Training Centre in Northern Clarendon, in a bid to revive training opportunities for residents of that community and surrounding areas.

The funding was presented by the Embassy of Japan, through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Projects, at a contract signing ceremony at the Embassy’s offices in Kingston on Thursday, March 27.

The Centre, which was constructed in 2006, will offer training in apiculture, barbering, cosmetology, and food and beverage (bar service).

The curriculum will also comprise an evening module, offering training in cake baking and decorating, among others, for women.

Highlighting the importance of the facility during the ceremony, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley informed that upon completion of the renovation works, the HEART Trust/NTA will assume responsibility for the management and skills training curriculum.

Mr. Dalley who is also Member of Parliament for the area urged the residents not to allow unscrupulous individuals to once again vandalise the centre, as skills training is crucial for gainful employment.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites noted that with the renovation of the facility, youngsters will be able to remain in their respective communities and positively advance their lives.

In his remarks, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Yasuo Takase said educational investments are crucial to the sustained development of any country.

He urged the residents to use the facilities effectively and efficiently and pledged his country’s continued support to vital areas in the island.

Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Wayne Wesley said the training will assist in preparing the Jamaican workforce to meet local and international standards, with quality skills set, high productivity, and competitiveness.

He noted that the HEART Trust/NTA is pleased to partner with the Government of Japan to facilitate development opportunities, especially in rural communities.

In expressing gratitude for the donation, Vice President of the Crooked River Community Development Committee, Vermilline Lewin informed that the centre will provide opportunities to 200 youngsters in the immediate community, as well as many others.

Jamaica has received $525 million (US$5 million) in funding assistance from the Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Projects since 1995. The assistance has been used to undertake 80 projects across the island.

The Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Projects provides support for small projects undertaken by local government authorities, non-governmental organisations, educational organisations, and medical institutions.