Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has praised the newly rebranded Institute for Workforce Education and Development (IWED) for its continued commitment to the development of the country’s workforce through education and training.
“The Ministry of Labour and Social Security applauds and commends this training institution for its vision and steadfastness. In fact…I am convinced that as a workforce education institution, IWED will provide the desired learning opportunities and outcomes for its clients,” he said.
The Minister was addressing a ceremony to officially rebrand IWED as an Accredited Training Organization (ATO), held on June 20 at Manpower Centre in St. Andrew.
IWED, a member of the Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited group (MMS), has, effective January 26 of this year, been designated as an ATO by the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), on the granting of accreditation for three of its programmes – Customer Service, House Keeping and Data Entry.
Mr. Kellier said the rebranding exercise is in line with the Ministry’s intense focus on seeking opportunities in non-traditional areas in labour markets overseas for skilled Jamaican workers, pointing out that a well trained, skilled and adaptable labour force is one of the most crucial determinants of productivity enhancement and diversification anywhere in the world.
“Indeed, a skilled workforce stands out as an indispensible requirement for continual improvements in productivity, technology and innovation. Underpinning all of this is undoubtedly, a flexible and well articulated education and training system which…is the main vehicle for promoting development of such a workforce. As I see it, IWED is positioned to doing just this,” he said.
He further lauded the institute for partnering with the Ministry in administering its Special Employment and Training project (SYEAT), which he said, has been a success.
Chief Executive Officer of the MMS, Audrey Hinchcliffe, said the institute has had seven years of continuous progress, “and we are most grateful for the support of the government, private sector and individuals in achieving our aim, that of changing communities through training and employment, empowering people and transforming their lives."
“Our joy at IWED and MMS is the development of people to help themselves by training and hiring them. This way, they take themselves out of poverty, help accelerate economic growth and raising their standard of living,” she said.
IWED, which evolved from the training unit of MMS into a limited liability company, was founded in 2005 to provide skills training and equip employees for job readiness. The institute offers a range of certificate and high impact one-day courses and seminars, which are certified through the NCTVET, City and Guilds and other certifying bodies. IWED has also been designated an independent school by the Ministry of Education.
During the event, the institution also launched its “new look” website designed to provide information on courses and other activities being undertaken.
Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites; Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley; Director, National Centre for Youth Development, Roberta Brown-Ellis; President, Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Wayne Chen; and Executive Director, HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayles, also endorsed the initiative.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter