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JIS News

As the Government rolls out the $36 billion Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), in partnership with the Chinese Government, through the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), local engineers will benefit by way of training and scholarships.
Speaking with JIS News at the opening of the two-day 2010 China Harbour Engineering Conference at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel Thursday (September 23), Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry, said the scholarship is part of the agreement reached under the preferential buyers’ credit with China Harbour.
“We said we needed both transfer of technology and opportunities, and they offered to provide scholarships for Jamaica students to go overseas, at their expense, to study in the field of engineering as it relates to road infrastructure, bridges ” the Minister said. The annual scholarships benefited 10 students in the first instance.
As the implementing agency for the JDIP, the National Works Agency (NWA) engineers will benefit, but the scholarships will also be open to other engineers in the various sectors and agencies, as well as the Jamaica Institute of Engineers, Chief Executive Officer of the NWA, Patrick Wong, explained.
“These scholarships are fully paid.on an average they are worth close to US$1 million, and it’s basically for post-tertiary (persons). It’s not just for them to gain the experience and then depart, it is for them to bring back with them the knowledge they have gained, to better Jamaica’s development,” Mr. Wong said.
General Manager of CHEC Latin America, Tang Zhontong said that, early next year, experts from China will be brought in to provide advanced training for local operators, and technicians in the proper use of construction equipment.
Both governments have committed to hosting the engineering conference in Jamaica annually to keep engineers updated, as the Jamaican government seeks to provide long term, sustainable expertise for the maintenance of the country’s roads.
CHEC has more than three decades of experience in the techniques of surveying, engineering and construction of world class harbours, airports, roads, bridges and highways. It is the fifth largest engineering company in the world.