Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, said that the government is fully committed to educational development, despite resource constraints.
“We have a responsibility to educate our people and no matter how difficult it is in terms of our economy, education must continue to be a priority of any government, and will continue to be a priority for our administration,” she stated.
She was speaking on May 4, at the official opening of the Brown’s Town Community College Technical Campus in Discovery Bay, St. Ann.
A partnership between the college, Noranda Bauxite Partners, and the HEART Trust/NTA, the technical campus will offer a wide range of internationally recognised programmes in areas such as welding, engineering, construction and information technology.
Lauding the opening of the facility, Mrs. Simpson Miller said once students are trained and certified there, they will be able to work anywhere in the world and be competitive.
“When you train people, you train them for the world. We are talking about development; we are talking about citizens of this country making a valuable contribution to the development of the country,” she said.
The Prime Minister charged the students to seize the training opportunities offered at the facility. “Once you have a skill you are not restricted to a small geographic area, you can become global. You can become a beacon of light to your family, your community, your parish and your country, Jamaica. You can make the difference,” she stated.
Training at the facility will commence during the week of May 6, and will be concentrated on a six- month welding programme, and area that is in high demand internationally, with the other programmes to be rolled out shortly.
As part of its contribution to the sustainability of the initiative, Noranda will be offering an apprenticeship programme at its plant for all the graduates, so that they can gain valuable work experience.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter