Skills training a priority in St James
Member of Parliament for Central St James Heroy Clarke has said partnerships will be undertaken with several tertiary institutions in the parish to promote educational opportunities among constituents.
The institutions include the University of Technology, the University of the West Indies, the Montego Bay Community College, the HEART Trust/NTA, the International University of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Maritime Institute, and others.
"Youth empowerment is a significant aspect of our constituency development plan going forward," Clarke said, while making his contribution to the 2016 Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives recently.
He further said that the initiative would result in more certification and qualification in areas such as hospitality, information and communication, technology, and entertainment.
Clarke said the Glendevon Centre of Excellence would be brought back into operation in a bid to provide skills-training opportunities to members of the constituency.
"Those who are deemed untrainable will be encouraged to enter remedial education programmes, including the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning, while those who are not in that category and express an interest in refreshing their educational level will be facilitated at HEART Trust/NTA," he said.
Turning to the area of entrepreneurship, he noted that discussions have been ongoing with players within the sector to conduct training sessions on how to maintain successful businesses.
Clarke said plans are in place to work with the Ministry of Tourism through the Tourism Product Development Company to train craft traders, so that they will produce more attractive and authentic products.
"We will be looking at our small-business operators - barbers, hairdressers, taxi operators - and who operate places of attraction and entertainment to bring them into the fray of understanding that they play a role in the development of the constituency and that the jobs they create and offer are valuable and sustainable," he said.
In the meantime, he lauded the joint military-police operations, as well as initiatives from other sectors and groups that have been undertaken in the parish in a bid to reduce criminal activities.
"The efforts to stamp out crime and the various related causes of crime must be sustained, and I am fully committed to supporting the efforts of the security forces and the Government in ensuring that we bring back the title of the 'Friendly City' or the 'Magic City' to Montego Bay and, by extension, the parish of St James," he said.