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Take the training to the people, PM tells HEART Trust/NTA

Thursday, February 27, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller has thrown down the gauntlet for the HEART Trust National Training Agency to take its raft of training programmes to community centres and other facilities across the island, in an effort to make them more accessible to the people.

"I want HEART Trust/ NTA to look at where we have proper community centres and facilities so that we move training into the communities, that we take the training to the people and that the people do not have to leave from very far to access HEART Trust training programmes," the prime minister underscored.

Conceding that the proposed venture might prove challenging to undertake, the prime minister instructed that the training institute, which she noted is "in a major expansion mode", look to members of Parliament for assistance from their Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

"They (HEART Trust) are widening their training programme and increasing the number of Jamaicans trained in the various skills areas, and I want to commend them. But I am going to beg you to look at how- I know it is kind of difficult- you call on members of parliament so that when they get their Constituency Development Fund they can make something available so that the programme can be expanded where we can take it to the communities," the prime minister urged.

She was speaking at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay during an awards ceremony which formed a part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Community Training for Empowerment Programme (CTEP), on Sunday.

CTEP, accredited by HEART Trust/NTA, Kelinworth, is the brainchild of Derrick Kellier, who has been the member of Parliament for South St James since 1989. Over 1,000 persons have so far graduated under the six-month-long programme, which involves training in housekeeping, food and beverage, information technology, conversational Spanish and values and attitudes once weekly.

Meanwhile, 83 trainees participated in a graduation ceremony which followed Sunday's awards function.

So far, 481 of CTEP graduates have gained employment in Jamaica, while 237 have secured work overseas.

The prime minister expressed her delight at Kellier, who is also the minister of labour, social security and welfare, for initiating the programme, in which the human resources director Claudette Glegg plays an integral role.

"I am very proud of Minister Kellier. The CTEP programme is a fine example of what we need in every community throughout Jamaica to actualise the economic revolution that is needed for growth and development and certainly for prosperity," the prime minister declared.

"It is important when members of Parliament like Derrick Kellier do something that can impact the lives of the Jamaican people."

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