WESTERN BUREAU -- In an effort to satisfy the growing vocational training needs of individuals and organisations in Trelawny, the HEART Trust/NTA's Falmouth Vocational Training Centre will implement a number of new courses by the first quarter of this year.
Centre manager, George Coleman, told the Observer that some of the new courses would include food and beverage services, telemarketing and computer repairs. Each course will last for six months.
"We at the HEART Trust/NTA are just trying to respond to the demand for training and demand for employment so we are going to start these new programmes," Coleman explained.
Already applications are being accepted for the food and beverage course, which is expected to begin later this month. Coleman said the centre expects to train at least 40 persons in that field this year.
The telemarketing course is expected to begin in February while a telephone technician course is due to start by March.
Coleman said a number of people have been expressing interest in the new course offerings.
The HEART/NTA's Falmouth Vocational Training Centre began operation in 1994 and has trained more than 800 students in various vocational skills since its inception. The centre currently offers training in electrical installation, building construction and plumbing.
It also offers special short courses in a variety of areas including computer technology.
Training opportunities are open to Jamaicans at least 17 years of age. Applicants must also have achieved at least a grade nine level of education.
Each trainee is placed in an industry for a required 160 hours of practical exposure during the training period.
At the end of the training period, HEART, through its regional offices, assist in placing persons for employment.
Coleman said graduates from the institution are usually successful in gaining employment.
"Yes they do get employment. In fact, a number of them go on the overseas hotel programme and local organisations call us from time to time for workers," he said.
Last year, 120 persons graduated from the centre.