Skills Training And Medical Centres Open In Montego Bay Free Zone

Photo: Sharon Earle Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams (2nd left), cuts the ribbon to formally open the Caribbean Maritime Institute’s (CMI) Integrated Work Force Development Centre (IWDC) in the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ) on October 29. Others (from left) are: Minister of Education, Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites; Assistant Vice President for Operations and Customer Affaires at the MBFZ, Gloria Henry; and Director of the IWDC, Osric Forrest.

Story Highlights

  • Two facilities for the delivery of world-class skills training and medical and wellness services have set up operations in the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ).
  • They are the Integrated Workforce Development Centre (IWDC) and the e-Shore Medical Centre which were officially opened on October 29.
  • So far, 50 young people from St. James are benefitting from multi-certification and multi-skill career training.

Two facilities for the delivery of world-class skills training and medical and wellness services have set up operations in the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ).

They are the Integrated Workforce Development Centre (IWDC) and the e-Shore Medical Centre which were officially opened on October 29.

The IWDC, a project of the Caribbean Maritime Institute’s (CMI) School of Advanced Skills, began operations six months ago to provide trained, skilled, and certified workers in the areas of business solutions, port operations, shipping and logistics, and engineering.

So far, 50 young people from St. James are benefitting from multi-certification and multi-skill career training.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Director of the IWDC, Osric Forrest, said the primary role of the centre is to provide training in keeping with advancement in  technology and international requirements.

“The CMI, with its international endorsement from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), is ideally poised to offer certification at the highest level, which has not only local, but global recognition and appeal,” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Forrest pointed out that the CMI’s existing linkages with industries in business solutions, transportation, warehousing, logistics and distribution strengthen its capacity to train in skill areas that are in high demand.

“The centre will, therefore, serve to enhance the country’s economic stability and prosperity by focusing on its human resources,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state-of-the-art e-Shore Medical Centre will provide health and wellness services to the rapidly expanding workforce in the MBFZ, in accordance with global standards.

Representative of the facility, Dr. Kamali Tulloch, said the centre is the product of a partnership between the Bay West Wellness Clinic and the MBFZ.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce,

Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, said the opening of the two amenities will significantly advance training to world-class standards, and improve the delivery of health care to the over 7,000 MBFZ workers.

She noted that the level of training that the CMI provides will meet the needs of the logistics hub and Jamaica’s emerging logistics-centred economy.

A special group of participants drawn from West Central St. James commenced a six month training programme at the IWDC in May.

The programme involves technical (logistics and supply chain operations, warehousing and distribution); industry-specific (business studies and office administration) and vocational (customer service) training to equip them with the skills, competencies and attitudes to enter the workforce.

In addition, since October, a cohort of 30 students involved in the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) have been benefitting from training in port operations, engineering, mathematics and customer service and call centre operations.

The aim is to provide a trained workforce to meet the needs of investors in light manufacturing, business process outsourcing (BPO) and contact/call centre operations.

In addition to the formal training, there is an active paramilitary programme which reinforces the importance of discipline, order and teamwork, and these attitudes manifest themselves in the classroom.

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