JPS Foundation/IDB Lab's eDrive Project donates equipment to HEART/NSTA Trust for EV training

HEART/NSTA Trust, the leading provider of technical vocational education and training (TVET) in Jamaica, recently received an added boost with the presentation of EV training equipment, valued at over $4 million.

The presentation of the training equipment is part of an overall $13-million investment by the JPS Foundation/IDB Lab's eDrive Project in capacity-building and training to support the growth of the electric vehicle sector in Jamaica.

A key objective of the eDrive Project is the upskilling of 200 first responders and 200 electric vehicle technicians with in-demand skills to support electric vehicle usage in Jamaica. The items donated included motors, inverters, insulated HV hand tool kits with torque wrenches, insulation testers, meters, head protection gear and other critical EV tools.

Ramsay McDonald, senior vice-president of customer services at JPS and deputy chairman of the JPS Foundation, said that capacity-building is essential for the growing electric vehicle industry.

"First responders and electric vehicle technicians will be able to maximise their learning experience, in preparation for full functionality in the world of EVs. The implementation of training programmes will enrich the country's human capital, as well as drive several aspects of development across sectors and industries geared toward preparing for a zero-emission future," McDonald said.

The official hand over of the equipment to the HEART/NSTA Trust was held on February 24 at its Jamaican-German Automotive School, Maxfield location.

Dr Taneisha Ingleton, managing director at the HEART/NSTA Trust, applauded the JPS Foundation for its efforts to build technical capacity through a partnership with local training institutions.

"Our partnership with JPS Foundation has resulted in opportunities and increased training access to all Jamaicans, which is in keeping with our mandate to facilitate and ensure human development. This will certainly enable a productive workforce for national priorities and global competitiveness," Dr Ingleton stated.

The training opportunities and exposure provided through this collaboration, she said, will help to change the lives of many Jamaicans already on a path to embrace and become leaders in this highly competitive area.

The eDrive project has had a far-reaching impact on the individuals who already participated in the inaugural train-the-trainer programme. The train-the-trainers group of 15 trainers had five days of intensive training in courses such as electric/hybrid vehicle hazard management and electric/hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement.

The participants came from the Caribbean Military Academy (JDF), a Ministry of Education institution and HEART/NSTA. Having completed the course, they are now tasked with training over 400 persons across the island in electric vehicle maintenance and emergency response.

Their globally recognised certification is not just a win for the trainers but makes Jamaica the first Caribbean Island to have individuals receiving certification from the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) in electric vehicle repair, maintenance and safety. The IMI is the leading professional body for the automotive industry based in the United Kingdom.

According to eDrive Project Manager Coleen Palmer-Wright, the eDrive Project has been working with a wide cross section of key standard-bearers, as part of efforts to build a sustainable electric mobility ecosystem.

"We have worked with stakeholders to design curricula adopted from the Institute of Motor Industry, for the Jamaican context. We have spent a great deal of time crafting the development of NVQJ occupational standards for the training curricula developed for first responders and electric vehicle technicians," Palmer-Wright outlined.

Within its activation plan, The JPS Foundation/IDB Lab's eDrive Project has initiatives expected to create an enabling environment for a sustainable electric mobility ecosystem in Jamaica. This includes creating opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the rapidly expanding electric mobility sector.

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