JIS News

Work is well underway to construct a $23 million skills training centre in the northern Clarendon community of Crooked River.
The centre is being established as a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the HEART Trust/NTA, and is being funded by the European Union under its Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP).
Ayanna Mitchell, Community Driven Development Co-ordinator at JSIF, told JIS News that the centre would offer certification in food preparation, hospitality management, barbering, cosmetology, and basic information and communication technology, under the Heart Trust/NTA skills training programme.
“The construction work is being carried out by the Brae Head/Crooked River Benevolent Society, using the community based contracting approach. Under this methodology, the Benevolent Society is responsible for the implementation and management of the project,” Miss Mitchell said.
Project Manager with the EU, Mette Simson Degn told JIS News that this project was the final contract to be signed by the EU under the PRP, adding that the Crooked River training centre was the only project of this kind to be funded under the programme.
Miss Degn pointed out that in addition to the construction of the centre, the EU had set aside $4 million to equip the centre. This sum has been included in the total project cost of $23 million.
To date, 29 projects have been undertaken under the PRP in Jamaica and include construction and renovation of schools, roads and sanitation facilities, she noted.
Approximately 35,000 persons living in and around the Crooked River district are to benefit from the centre, which is scheduled for completion in January of next year, one month after the PRP comes to an end in December.
The Benevolent Society is expected to contribute five percent of the cost of the project and members have volunteered at least one hour per day towards the project as part of their contribution.
In order to facilitate ownership of the skills training centre by the community, several members have been trained through workshops in management and accounting, among other things.

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