OCHO RIOS, St Ann -- HEART Trust/NTA has graduated approximately 550 Jamaicans, from the northern region, who have successfully completed training in various skills, some attaining certification up to Level V.
The certificates of achievement were handed over during the region's annual graduation exercise at the Baptist church here last Thursday afternoon. The northern region comprises training institutions in St Ann, St Mary, Portland and Trelawny.
Among the graduates were three females and a male who have attained Level V certification and have been certified by HEART Trust/NTA in collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America as executive chefs.
Ten trainees were also certified at Level IV as Chef De Cuisine and 19 attained Level III certification as Chef De Partie and Chef De Patisserie.
Certification were presented in a number of areas including Food Preparation, Business Administration, Early Childhood Care, Electrical Installation, Food and Beverage, General Construction, Housing Keeping, Customer Service, Hospitality Services and Motor Vehicle Engine Systems.
Executive director of HEART Trust/NTA, Carolyn Hayle, said she was pleased with the level of certification trainees have attained. She encouraged them to take their success to the world and continue making training a part of their mantra if they are to keep apace of others in the field.
"You have done yourselves and your families proud and the accomplishment you have made now positions you to achieve even greater things in your career," Hayle told the graduates. "You have demonstrated that training, to become part of the workforce, is an important step in your lifestyle."
She said HEART Trust/NTA will be embarking on new training programmes which will help trainees achieved higher standard of certification. "We are creating opportunities that you can have associate degrees and apply the associate degrees which will help you to matriculate into the formal education system to go on to get your bachelor's degree," she said.
Jamaica Constabulary Force assistant chaplain, Reverend Courtney Walters, in his keynote address, encouraged the graduates to use their skills to help build a better Jamaica.
He said in their quest for success they should seek to become positive, pragmatic, productive and proactive. He said that as the country and the economy are facing challenging times, skilled workers will be called on to help rebuild the country and the economy.
"Among the important tools that you are going to need, among the attitudes that you are going to adopt, among the skills that you are going to have to generate is the capacity to think first world, even though you live in the third world," Reverend Walters said.
The graduates were also urged by valedictorian Jason Miller of the Runaway Bay Training Institute to use their training and skills to contribute to the development of their communities and country.
He reminded the graduates of the many challenges they had to encounter to successfully complete their training and encouraged them to continue reaching for higher than the stars.
"Just reach, go ahead and reach, stretch harder... don't limit yourself to only reaching for the stars... we have been trained and skilled for a purpose, use your training and skill for the benefit and development of the country," said Miller.
014 - Executive chef at Runaway Bay HEART Hotel Kenrick Stewart (left) presenting an award to Khalil Campbell who attained the highest mark in the HEART Trust/NTA Level IV certification for Chef De Cuisine.
012 - International chef with the Culinary Institute of America Phillip Crispo (left) presenting the Level V certification to Joan Banner. Banner was one of four HEART Trust/NTA trainees who have been certified as executive chef.