Skills certification for bauxite/alumina workers

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NAIN, St Elizabeth — The Essex Valley Community and Associates (EVC) the entity which contracts workers for bauxite/alumina company JISCO Alpart and the national training agency HEART Trust/NTA, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a skills certification programme.

As explained by Camilla Rochester, operations manager of EVC during a recent ceremony at the Alpart Sports Club, the programme will not only fill a “certification gap” but will allow EVC workers at JISCO Alpart to “be equipped with the requisite training and certification to access new and emerging job opportunities”.

Rochester said assessment will be done on the job and not in a classroom setting. Those registering for the programme will be “poised to benefit” from level-two certification in general construction, housekeeping, mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance, plumbing and customer service.

Discussions were also ongoing with HEART for possible training in landscaping, cable belt, and rail line operations.

Dr Janet Dyer, managing director of HEART Trust NTA, said the partnership with the EVC underlined her agency’s commitment to being a “driver of economic growth”. She said HEART/ NTA was taking steps to ensure it is able to fill employment needs in the bauxite/alumina and related industries, especially in light of JISCO’s plans for an industrial park at Nain.

Zhang Jun, managing director JISCO Alpart, said his company has embraced the training initiative as “timely” and a “plus” in the context of the need for more efficient production.

Len Blake, general manager of the EVC and head of parent agency the JISCO Alpart Community Council, said he expected the partnership with HEART Trust/NTA to get bigger and better.

“The more we train, the better the plant (JISCO Alpart) will perform,” he said.

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