€1 million into heavy duty - JUTC repair programme launched at Lyndhurst Road
Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer
The equipment which graduates of the Jamaican-German Automotive School (JAGAS) and Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) employees will use to repair units used by the state-run company costs a million euros.
The programme is being administered by the HEART Trust/NTA and the JUTC, with 20 JAGAS graduates and five employees from the JUTC participating.
Details of the programme were outlined last Thursday at a press conference held inside the JUTC depot at 26 Lyndhurst Road, St Andrew. A number of government ministers, executives from the JUTC, the HEART Trust/NTA and JAGAS, as well as a few private-sector representatives and JAGAS students, were in attendance.
The HEART Trust/NTA is expected to spend $75 million to upgrade its facilities at Lyndhurst Road, which currently houses numerous derelict buses. While the upgrades take place, the students will implement training already under way at JAGAS.
When the training facility is completed, cutting-edge technology from Europe is expected to be used by participants in the two-year programme. The machinery includes a hydraulic floor jack, electric arc welder, spray gun and air disc sander.
During the launch of the heavy-duty vehicle repair training programme, Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr Omar Davies impressed upon the students the opportunity that has been afforded them.
"It's going to make you a highly skilled individual," he said. Davies added that the investment in the students should not be squandered by them leaving Jamaica on the next available flight.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said the project is a transformative day in education.
Angedeika Foote, the lone female in the cohort, who completed studies at JAGAS in mechanics and is now employed to the JUTC's Maintenance Department, said she'll benefit from the programme tremendously.
"I'll get more exposure in the world of work. I'll have more qualifications and this will take me to a higher level," said Foote, who completed the JAGAS Level three programme in March this year.