JIS News

Thirteen auto service technicians departed the island on Saturday (Jan. 16) to take up training and job opportunities in Canada.
The group represents the first set of skilled workers to benefit under an eight-month work-study programme, which is being facilitated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Another group of 14 heavy duty mechanics are scheduled to depart on Saturday (Jan. 23).
The auto service technicians will be trained at the Red River College in Manitoba, Canada, while the heavy duty mechanics will study at the College of North Atlantic in Newfoundland.
Director of Manpower Services in the Ministry, Andrea Miller-Stennett, told JIS News that the group of 27 men underwent a rigorous examination process before they were selected for the programme. She explained that more than 100 individuals sat the exam, however many could not afford the tuition for the Canadian institutions.
Mrs. Miller-Stennett further informed that at the end of the 32-week course, the Jamaicans will be able to sit the Red Seal Certification exam, which is Canada’s highest trade credential. This, she said, will allow them to work and live in the North American country.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles on Friday (January 15) met with the 27-member group at his offices on North Street in Kingston for a short farewell ceremony.
He said the send-off marked another success in the Ministry’s efforts to take advantage of overseas employment opportunities amid global economic challenges.
The Labour Minister further encouraged the men to do their best to make Jamaica proud. “Every one of you is an ambassador for Jamaica and for the Ministry of Labour. Your performance will make us get more workers or none at all,” he told the prospective trainees.
He also expressed his pride in the men’s dedication to improve themselves and encouraged them to continue striving for success. “Many men have sat under trees playing dominos for years, while you have been studying and working your way into a profession. It’s going to pay off,” he told them.
He however cautioned that the road ahead would not be easy as they will be living and working in a foreign country and faced with situations to which they might not be accustomed.
“There’s going to be moments of great sacrifice that you are going to be faced with, moments of discouragement, moments when you will wish you were home. But you have to understand that these are the challenges that you will face if you want good,” he said.
The Minister also encouraged the men to remain responsible and to stay in close contact with their children and other family members through the Ministry’s family services programme.

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