JIS: The Hazard Skills Training Centre in Clarendon, which provides certification for residents in collaboration with the Heart Trust /NTA, now has a new, more spacious home on the compound of the McLaren Engineering Company in Palmers Cross in the parish.
McLaren Engineering, which is a family-operated establishment, offered the space for lease for 100 years at a cost of $1.
The announcement was made by Chairman of the company, Michael McLaren, at a function on Friday (April 6) to hand over the building, which has been named the Wesley E. McLaren Hazard Skills Training Centre in honour of its late founder.
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, welcomed the move, noting that with the handover of the building, the company is making a valuable contribution to national development.
In a speech read by Senior Education Officer in the Ministry, Floyd Kelly, Mr. Green said this will help the Ministry in its thrust to assist more young persons to acquire readily employable skills for the world of work through technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
“Well-functioning TVET systems are best-placed to train the skilled workforce to address our socio-economic development challenges. The vision of Mr. Wesley McLaren for a skills training centre was well informed, and well intentioned. It is now up to all of us, working in partnership, to expand on the vision and work that has been started,” he said.
He called on other private businesses to fully support such training programmes through direct sponsorship, and allowing for apprenticeship-type attachments.
National TVET Director in the Education Ministry, Denworth Finnikin, who was the guest speaker at the event, commended the McLaren family for the initiative ,which he said is “worthy of emulation…where private sector and government can come together to ensure we build a prosperous nation”.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Hon. Michael Henry; Custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury; and Mayor of May Pen, Councillor Winston Maragh, also welcomed the initiative of the McLaren family.
The skills training centre, which was established in 1997, has trained over 2,000 persons in welding, cosmetology, electrical installation, food preparation, and hospitality service.
The partnership with the Heart Trust/NTA began in 2010, and since then, other partners have come on board, including the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), Social Development Commission (SDC), Clarendon Crime Prevention Committee, Clarendon Parish Development Committee, Mac Rebuilders Limited and other private-sector partners.
CAPTION: Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Hon. Michael Henry (right), admires the work of welding students of the Wesley E. McLaren Hazard Skills Training Centre (from left) Dennis Morrison; and Chrissy Grant. Occasion was a handover ceremony for the Wesley E. McLaren Hazard Skills Training Centre on the grounds of the McLaren Engineering Company in Clarendon on Friday (April 6).