JIS News

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  • More than 120 technical officers of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and its agencies, who are involved in the building approval process, will benefit from training to be provided by the University of Technology (UTech).
  • The programme, being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a cost of $6 million, aims to provide the participants with the requisite skills and qualifications to implement proposed revisions to the 1907 Building Act.
  • The training programme, which has commenced, saw the first 50 participants completing three weeks of training last week.

More than 120 technical officers of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and its agencies, who are involved in the building approval process, will benefit from training to be provided by the University of Technology (UTech).

The programme, being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a cost of $6 million, aims to provide the participants with the requisite skills and qualifications to implement proposed revisions to the 1907 Building Act.

These amendments are outlined in a Bill slated to be tabled in Parliament shortly by Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott.

The Act, when passed, will also support the Ministry’s establishment of a national Building Code, the provisions of which will be consistent with the universal standard of the United States-based International Code Council (ICC).

These engagements form part of the Ministry’s focus on providing a modern framework for effective regulation and management of construction activities islandwide.

The training programme, which has commenced, saw the first 50 participants completing three weeks of training last week.

They comprised officers drawn from the Ministry as well as Parish Councils and the Jamaica Fire Brigade, including: planners, land surveyors, architects, construction managers and engineers, among others. Each participant was presented with certification from UTech.

Mr. Arscott and UTech’s Acting President, Professor Colin Giles, on Wednesday, September 16, signed the MoU, during a brief ceremony at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road office, in Kingston.

 

In his remarks, Mr. Arscott, in welcoming the collaboration, said it will facilitate the exchange of ideas and skills through training.

“Importantly, we will collaborate to conduct research in areas of (mutual) interest, including the design, maintenance and management of urban centres; local sustainable development planning; drainage design; construction project management and, of course, management and costing, and subdivision design and approval,” he outlined.

Additionally, Mr. Arscott said that during the period, both partners will also seek to share resources in a “structured” manner, to develop solutions to some of the issues still posing challenges in civil engineering and related areas.

For his part, Professor Giles said the MoU is consistent with UTech’s role to align its operations with the “imperatives we have embraced…  (goals of) Vision 2030, that speak to Jamaica being the place of choice for people to live, work, raise families, and do business.”

He  said that part of this focus is ensuring that persons are adequately trained in the construction sector, to ensure that the required knowledge to implement the requirements of the building code are fully understood and embraced.