Sun | Apr 21, 2019

HEART Trust/NTA to train 240 ancillary workers

Published:Monday | March 11, 2019 | 12:10 AM
From left: Loy Malcolm, general manager of technical services, JSIF; Omar Sweeney, managing director, JSIF; Dr Janet Dyer, managing director, HEART Trust/NTA; Ruel Reid, minister of education, youth and information; and Edward Gabbidon, chairman, HEART Trust/NTA, after the MOU signing at the JSIF head office on Thursday, March 7.

The HEART Trust/NTA on March 7 partnered with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to launch a specially customised programme that will certify 240 ancillary workers from 40 schools under the School Ancillary Workers Training Project.

The move is in response to the 2016 Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) School Ancillary Worker Survey, which found that a large number of ancillary workers lacked formal certification.

“Our ancillary workers are pivotal to the functioning of many institutions in this country. They are instrumental in maintaining and sustaining our schools, as they are the ones who prepare meals for the children, keep our environment clean, among other responsibilities”, said Edward Gabbidon, chairman of the HEART Trust/NTA. “However, standardisation in quality is very important. Therefore, we must ensure that our ancillary workers are performing at the highest possible standards.

The beneficiaries are selected from 40 schools in St James, Clarendon, St Andrew and Kingston, and will pursue tailored courses based on their respective fields.

“What we realised is that many of these workers only received on-the-job training and had no further certification. These custom-designed courses will expose the workers to a range of skills, like security and landscaping, with the opportunity for capacity building”, said Winsome Hudson Reid, training coordinator at JSIF.

Ruel Reid, minister of education, youth and information, welcomed the initiative and lauded the programme’s focus on providing soft skills training to the workers. “Economic growth cannot happen in the 21st century without an appreciation for the development of the human capital. All of us who offer service must be trained and be able to deliver quality customer service to both our internal and external customers,” stated Reid.

The minister also noted that similar customer care-centred programmes will be coming to other agencies and workers across the country. Training can also be expected for a further 120 persons in the ICDP programme.

“I believe that this partnership will improve our institutions. We are committed to ensuring that we only have the highest qualified individuals in the workforce and this begins by ensuring that every worker is trained and performing at the same standard, regardless of where they are working”, said Gabbidon.