KINGSTON, Jamaica – Fifty Jamaicans are to be trained as Resident Care Attendants, to fill vacancies in Canada, under a training project to be delivered through the partnership of a Jamaican and Canadian college.
The project will see the Brown’s Town Community College, in St. Ann, training Resident Care Attendants, based on British Colombian school, Sprott-Shaw Community College’s academic curriculum. The programme, which is being done in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Marmicmon Integrated Marketing and Communications, was launched at the Hilton Kingston, on May 18.
Under the Programme, Sprott-Shaw will develop the curriculum and supervise its delivery, Brown’s Town Community College will train the Resident Care Attendants, Marmicmon will be in charge of job placement, while the Ministry’s Liaison Office in Canada will help the workers get settled in Canada.
International Marketing Director for Marmicmon Integrated Marketing and Communications, which spearheads the programme, Professor Michael Patterson, said the decision was made to train Resident Care Attendants, because health care is almost “recession proof.”
Describing the launch of the programme as a “very important milestone,” Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Hon. Andrew Gallimore, said the current global economic situation demands partnerships, such as the one forged among the parties. He added that Canada’s ageing population means that there are many jobs available in that country.
Mr. Gallimore encouraged the students accepted into the programme, to make the most of the opportunity and ensure others could also benefit.
“The relationship that’s being formed is really, in my view, the tip of the iceberg. Because the market that is in Western Canada, I don’t think we have the capacity to exhaust,” he said.
He told the group they would receive certificates from Sprott-Shaw Community College, qualifying them to work anywhere in the world. Mr. Gallimore noted that the 106 year-old institution is known as one of the most prolific trainers of Resident Care Nurses.
President of Sprott-Shaw Dean Duperron, supported the Minister, emphasising that the institution had a global reach, with campuses in several countries.
Meanwhile, Principal of the Brown’s Town Community College, James Walsh, gave a commitment that the programme would be delivered to the highest standard. He said the college has been able to “use limited resources to produce as good an output as produced, using far more capital intensive methods than elsewhere in the world.”
Chair of the British Colombia Caucus, Richard Harris, said he was happy for the programme, because while Canada has many vacancies, it is important that immigrant workers are trained. “You’re getting the best available in the world,” he told the students, while encouraging them to continue their education beyond the programme.
Canadian employers are expected to arrive in the island in another four months to conduct interviews with the participants in the programme. A new cohort is to be trained after the current six-month training period ends.
Canada and Jamaica have enjoyed a close relationship, with thousands of Jamaicans benefitting from work programmes, such as the Canada/Jamaica Agricultural Workers Programme. Jamaicans have also been recruited by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to work as industrial mechanics, chefs and security guards in Canada.