KINGSTON — The Ministry of Energy and Mining is pursuing discussions with several of the country’s tertiary institutions towards establishing a partnership for the delivery of a four-year degree programme for professionals in the mining sector.
“There has been dialogue with the University of Technology (UTech) in particular, and we are continuing the dialogue. We have had discussions with the University of the West Indies (UWI) but we have gotten greater traction from the University of Technology,” said Principal Director for the Ministry’s Policy Planning and Minerals Division, Oral Rainford.
The curriculum will complement the implementation of the National Policy on Minerals Development 2010 – 2030, over the next 10 years.
It is projected that some 2,000 jobs will be generated over the period, consequent on activities such as institutional strengthening, infrastructural development, research, and community development.
Mr. Rainford told JIS News that the Ministry has developed a curriculum in conjunction with the HEART Trust/NTA, which focuses on training in the specialised skills and expertise “which are needed to develop the sector,” such as mining engineering and minerals economics.
He anticipates the establishment of a partnership within three years. “On the one hand, there can be a situation where HEART/NTA, itself, can offer some of the training courses. On the other hand, we see the possibility of the curriculum or segments of it, being wholesale handed to a university for them to look at and begin implementation or to look at it and to tweak it to suit their needs and begin the implementation,” he outlined.
Additionally, Mr. Rainford said provisions will be explored to facilitate the matriculation of HEART/NTA trainees into the degree programme.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter