$82 million for security ministry truck driving programme

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$82 million for security ministry truck driving programme

Friday, August 07, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of National Security has spent approximately $82 million to acquire two mobile driving simulators to train at-risk-youth residing in vulnerable communities in St James and Kingston, to operate heavy duty vehicles.

The ministry said the simulators were commissioned by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minster of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, at the Cornwall Automotive Training Institute (CATI) in Montego Bay earlier today.

According to Dr Chang, the acquisition is in keeping with the technology component of the ministry's Music, Sports and Technology Programme to engage, train and certify at-risk-youth in specialised skill areas.

He said the move will facilitate behaviour change and deliver certified training which will result in socioeconomic opportunities for at-risk-youth in vulnerable communities.

The minister pointed out that music, sports and technology are proven to shape interpersonal relationships, perspectives of young people, and reduce juvenile delinquency while encouraging contact with positive role models.

“Boys, in particular, use these avenues as gateways to sustaining bonds among themselves. Some of our most volatile communities have used music and sports to positively contribute to neighbourhood transformation, and technology continues to have a phenomenal impact on how young people access, process and communicate information, as it is the 'catalyst for the surge in new skills training and employment opportunities in the global space,” emphasised Dr Chang.

Meanwhile, Kevin Lee, instructor and assistant lecturer for the Articulate Truck Driving Programme at the Caribbean Maritime University, says the programme generally spans the course of three months or approximately 150 hours and enables participants to enhance their skills in driving heavy duty equipment which prepares them for jobs locally and overseas.

“The simulator is good because it mirrors 97 per cent of real life experiences. We focus not only on driving but also on defensive driving such as how to handle a loss of brake while going downhill,” he said.

The ministry said the simulators also provide experience in difficult weather and bad road conditions such as wet, slippery and snow covered roads.

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