The HEART/NSTA Trust is partnering with China Harbour Engineering Company, CHEC, to train and certify some 500 individuals who will possibly take up jobs on the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project.

The major partnership comes at a time when the government expressed a shortage of labour especially in the construction industry.

Recently the Prime Minister announced there was the possibility of importing labour due to a shortage.

Since that announcement, the HEART/NSTA Trust has come under criticism for not adequately fulfilling it mandate to train and provide employees for the labour market.

This morning, it disclosed that under this new agreement, HEART will be providing training, on-site and off-site at HEART locations in Western Jamaica.

HEART says the areas for training will include electrical works, carpentry, equipment operation, masonry, general construction, plumbing, welding and other agreed skill areas.

The institution says this initiative came about after the Prime Minister’s mandate that the project may provide employment opportunities for Jamaican construction workers who are qualified and willing to participate in the project.

As such, CHEC is giving its full support to ensure there’s adequate employment, knowledge transfer and skills training for the participants.

Additionally, individuals from neighbouring communities who are already trained and certified, will be included in the pool of workers for the project when it begins at the end of this financial year, March 31, 2023.

Other workers from sub-contractors and recommended prospects from neighbouring communities will also be upskilled throughout the life of the project.

The organisation recently facilitated a walk through with executives of CHEC at 3 HEART institutions – Falmouth Campus, Granville Campus, Glendevon Training Centre and the Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute, where the training will be done.

HEART/NSTA Trust says it’s committed to providing programmes to decrease unemployment for the under-served across the island.