SAJ accredits 18 newly-trained stevedores
The ranks of formally trained stevedores on the Port of Kingston has swelled by 18 in recent weeks with the accreditation of a new cohort under the Shipping Association of Jamaica's (SAJ) NCTVET-accredited training programme.
Eighteen port workers graduated after successfully completing the Stevedoring Level One programme, which was introduced in 2009 to ensure the association's workers are formally trained and certified to international standards.
At the presentation of certificates to the graduates held recently at the SAJ, Group CEO Trevor Riley noted that, with the ongoing evolution of the shipping industry in Jamaica and the region, continuous skills training through various certification programmes was a deliberate strategy intended to bolster the competitive profile of workers within Jamaica's shipping industry.
"Our objective, as always, is to showcase and represent the most competent, the most productive, the most reputable, the most conscientious employee. In short, a highly professional workforce," he encouraged the newly certified stevedores.
He said that the orientation and training of port workers in Jamaica had evolved under the SAJ's stewardship from informal, on-the-job experience to the development of a formalised system which now includes the rigorous NCTVET-level certification programme. He noted that the SAJ was also looking at expanding the programme to Level Two certification.
The programme has also produced other benefits, including the establishment of a new group of trainers from within the ranks of previous graduates, who now act as instructors for their newly recruited colleagues.
He added that the investment by the SAJ in training its port workers was not limited to certification, but included exposing them to worldwide industry best practices through working visits to competing ports in the region.
SAJ's workers' skills
In congratulating the stevedores on their achievement, Riley also pointed out that the skills of the SAJ's workers have been highly praised by visitors from ports overseas who had expressed how impressed they were with the speed and efficiency displayed in executing their duties.
Dottline Lawson-Hunter of the Heart Trust/NTA, who was guest speaker at the certificate handover ceremony, urged the stevedores to consider their training an investment in building their personal brands and creating a niche market for their specialised skills within an evolving maritime sector.