JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Kellits Skills Training Centre in Clarendon is benefitting from extensive refurbishing work under JEEP.
  • The project is being undertaken at a cost of $7.9 million.
  • The aim is to bring the centre to a state where it can once again become fully functional.

The Kellits Skills Training Centre in Clarendon, which was recently closed due to disrepair, is benefitting from extensive refurbishing work under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).

The project, which is being undertaken at a cost of $7.9 million, is slated to be completed by the end of February.

Managing Director of contracting company, Sphinx Amalgamated Enterprise Limited, Paul Smith, said the works, which got underway last December, include re-roofing, painting, tiling and electrical repairs, and general repairs to the building.

The centre, which was opened in 1990 as a HEART Trust/NTA training facility, has won many accolades from the HEART Trust.

Mr. Smith told JIS News that the aim is to bring the centre to a state where it can once again become fully functional.

“The ambience will be much better; the students should be in a more comfortable environment when it reopens as a skills training centre. Overall, the community should get a lift because they can boast once again that they are the top HEART training centre in the hospitality field,” Mr. Smith said.

Carpenter, Wayne Bailey, who is among the 15 persons employed to the project, told JIS News that the improvement works “couldn’t have come at a better time”.

“We all feel good about the work and we are happy to know that it is taking place and it’s also a form of development for the community as well, so we are excited about it,” he said.

Another employee, Vincent Nelson, said the initiative has come at an opportune time.  “To be frank, mi feel good enuh, because no work neva did a gwaan fi me and now mi get a work…so mi give thanks,” he said.

JEEP is one of the strategies of the Government to respond to the chronic unemployment status of some Jamaicans, particularly those in the lower socio-economic strata, persons with special needs, as well as those with low skills levels.

Now in its third phase, JEEP has provided occupation for over 40,000 individuals with an estimated expenditure of $5.7 billion.

JEEP was launched in March 2012.