Fri | Aug 12, 2022

Caribbean’s first electric vehicle repair certification programme launched

eDrive train-the-trainer programme to enhance expertise

Published:Monday | June 27, 2022 | 12:05 AM
Ramsay McDonald (third left), deputy chairman, JPS Foundation, greets Novelette Denton Prince (right), acting managing director of HEART/NSTA Trust, while looking on (from left) are Winsome Callum, director, corporate communications of JPS; Eric Nelson, pr
Ramsay McDonald (third left), deputy chairman, JPS Foundation, greets Novelette Denton Prince (right), acting managing director of HEART/NSTA Trust, while looking on (from left) are Winsome Callum, director, corporate communications of JPS; Eric Nelson, principal, TVET Engineering Cluster; Kay-Marie Forbes-Robotham, director, strategic partnerships, research, and innovation HEART/NSTA Trust; and Wayne Archibald, executive director of GSI, at the launch of the eDrive train-the-trainer programme at the HEART/NSTA Trust – Jamaican-German Automotive School on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.

Jamaica has become the first Caribbean country to launch a certification programme from the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI), in the field of electric vehicle repair, maintenance and safety. The IMI is a professional body for the automotive industry, based in the United Kingdom.

This certification will be fulfilled through the JPS Foundation and IDB Lab’s Train-the-Trainer programme, an initiative under the eDrive project. The programme will see 15 trainers in the field of mechanics and emergency response receiving training in courses such as electric/hybrid vehicle hazard management and electric/hybrid vehicle system repair and replacement.

The trainees from a Ministry of Education institution, Jamaica Defence Force’s Caribbean Military Academy and HEART/NSTA Trust will be engaged in five days of intensive training after which they will be tasked with training over 400 people across the island in electric vehicle maintenance and emergency response.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at the HEART/ NSTA Trust Jamaican-German Automotive School, Ramsay McDonald, senior vice president customer services at JPS said that capacity building would be a critical part of the electric vehicle industry. Therefore, the train-the-trainer programme would be the first step to equip Jamaican auto technicians with the required resources to do maintenance and repair.

“The world of electric mobility will require support; it will require personnel who are knowledgeable about this technology and capable of supporting Jamaican drivers and owners. This is where the Train-the-Trainer programme comes in, as it will have a ripple effect with the first set of trainers moving on to train others. This will lead to a body of knowledgeable and fully prepared professionals who are ready to facilitate the use of electric cars and buses,” he said.

The training, which is being conducted by Andrew Latham, senior instructor of EINTAC, a UK-based company with IMI certification, will be facilitated at the HEART/NSTA Trust – Jamaican-German Automotive School.

STRATEGIC MOVE

Addressing the event, acting managing director of the HEART/NSTA Trust, Novelette Denton Prince, said that the Trust was pleased to be a part of the strategic move for EV training and development. She said two additional HEART institutions, along with JAGAS, will be offering the programme to a total of 200 first responders and 200 auto mechanics.

“As the world changes and renewable energy processes evolve, HEART/NSTA Trust is willing and ready to adopt and embark on critical initiatives to enhance human development to build greener industries, to drive economic development,” she said.

Wayne Archibald, executive director of local training partner institution, Green Solutions International, said that for the past six months his team had been working with the JPS Foundation and HEART/NSTA to review codes and safety standards as related to electric vehicles. He noted that those codes would ensure safety and consistency for consumers and installers, while providing clear expectations for manufacturers, installers and business owners in the electric vehicle industry.

Additionally, he said, this team has been working with the HEART/NSTA on the development of a curricula adopted from the Institute of Motor Industry, based on the Jamaican context. That team has also been working on the development of NVQJ standards for the training curricula being developed for first responders and auto mechanics.