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St. James youths to be trained in logistics

Published:Friday | May 8, 2015 | 2:57 PMBarrington Flemming
Sharon Folkes-Abrahams

Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, the member of parliament for West Central St James, recently forged a partnership with the Caribbean Maritime Institute, which will see 50 youngsters from across St James being trained in the area of logistics over a nine-month period at the Montego Bay Free Zone.

Ffolkes-Abrahams told The Gleaner that she was intent on ensuring that the youth in St James are equipped to take up jobs in logistics and other areas in the maritime sector. She added that the funding

to facilitate the training exercise will come from the Constituency Development Fund.

"What I have done in the Free Zone is that, along with the Factories Corporation, I have set up an area where the training would be done," said Folkes-Abrahams, who is the junior minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce. " Ö I have provided $3 million from my Constituency Development Fund to develop the Caribbean Maritime Institute training centre in the Montego Bay Free Zone."

Ffolkes-Abrahams further explained that the training centre was established in early March and components of the training programme would include soft skills, along with the core areas of logistics and engineering.

"So over the nine-month period, the trainees would receive a certificate in logistics, but the training would also involve deportment, conflict resolution, [and] creative arts, among other things," added Ffolkes-Abrahams. "We want them to be able to function well, so we decided to broaden the scope of the training programme."


The junior minister also indicated that, in seeking to empower the youth, she had taken an interest in getting them gainfully occupied through job-creation activities or training.

"I personally have gone around and found young persons with many CXCs (Caribbean Examinations Council passes) sitting at home eager to do something," she said. "So through this and other programmes, we are taking them out and putting them out to training so they have hope for the future. We do not want for them to risk their life doing something nefarious, so we are seeking to engage them at this level."

While declining to give an exact timetable for the start of the training programme, Ffolkes-Abrahams said so far, 25 of the 50 persons to be trained in the programme have been selected. Nonetheless, she hinted that the programme is set to get under way soon.