JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Michael Stern, has commended young Jamaicans who continue to educate themselves, and acquire new skills, despite the many challenges they face daily.
“Sometimes it’s trying circumstances that they go to class under. Sometimes they come under pressure, because they don’t have the resources, so we really have to recognize the students who are trying. There are many others who could do the same, but they prefer to stay on the roadside and not come into the classroom where they can learn that extra skill to better their lives and the lives of their children,” he said.
The State Minister, was speaking at the official opening of the C. Palmer Project of Hope HEART skills training centre in Harwood, North Clarendon, recently.
The brainchild of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Palmer, the centre was conceptualised out of a desire to address the skills training needs of the young people of North Clarendon. It is located on land donated by Mr. Palmer, who has pledged his support to assist any young person who wants to achieve.
“Our goal is for students to achieve the highest academic standards possible. We know that this will become a world class skills training centre, and we will provide support for young men and women who are committed to their own development,” he said.
The centre currently employs nine members of staff, and offers training in four different skill areas – Data Entry, Welding, Office Administration and Cosmetology. The courses are certified by the HEART Trust/NTA and done up to Level II. Presently, there are 96 students on roll at the facility.
Mr. Palmer, who continues to provide financial and other resources, along with providing physical labour, hopes to see the programme expanded to provide training in at least seven different areas.
Mr. Stern, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, has pledged $1 million towards the upgrading of the school’s Welding programme to level II.
Office Administration student, Leonie Reid, who hails from Coffee Piece district, some three miles away, believes the students of Grantham, Spaldings, Tweedside and the other communities served by this facility have been presented with an invaluable gift.
“HEART offers excellent programmes as they prepare students to function effectively in the world of work, especially because of the practical component of the courses. We are fortunate to have this place,” she said.
Dwayne Tucker, Data Entry student agrees, saying he would encourage young people to get a skill, as skill is power. “In fact, people should be trained in different skill areas, so they always have something to fall back on, when they cannot find employment in one area.”

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