Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre serv­ing the com­mu­nity for 20 years

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

FOR AL­MOST 20 years, the Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre has been pro­vid­ing train­ing for pro­fes­sion­als, at-risk youth, non-cer­ti­fied and un­skilled em­ploy­ees, and em­ploy­ers, in part­ner­ship with the HEART Trust/NTA.

Stu­dent at the in­sti­tu­tion, 19year-old Alexis Dixon, has high praises for the op­por­tu­ni­ties be­ing provided to her through the cen­tre.

After leav­ing sec­ondary school, Dixon faced sev­eral job re­jec­tions ow­ing to the lack of em­ploy­able skills, but with one year of train­ing with the in­sti­tu­tion, she is now a per­ma­nent em­ployee with a busi­ness es­tab­lish­ment in Span­ish Town.

She noted that not only was she provided with the train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, but the cen­tre also sought em­ploy­ment for her.

“I can­not give them enough money for what they did for me, or tell them a mil­lion thanks,” she stated.

Ac­cord­ing to Dixon, the prin­ci­pal and in­struc­tors at the school make con­certed ef­forts to im­part knowl­edge to the stu­dents, while also shar­ing life ex­pe­ri­ences as a way of en­cour­ag­ing growth and devel­op­ment.

“It re­ally mo­ti­vated me to push for­ward,” she added.

She also en­cour­ages young per­sons in and around the Span­ish Town area to get their train­ing at the cen­tre.

“They should def­i­nitely come to the Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre. Don’t hide, it is re­ally a great place; and if you want to move for­ward, that is the place that you can go,” Dixon stated.

Early child­hood devel­op­ment cour­ses to be of­fered in Jan­uary

LO­CATED AT 56 Brunswick Av­enue in Span­ish Town, St Catherine, the Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre of­fers train­ing in ar­eas such as com­mer­cial food prepa­ra­tion, lev­els one and two; and cus­tomer en­gage­ment at lev­els one and two. In Jan­uary 2019, the school will of­fer cour­ses in early child­hood devel­op­ment.

For for­mer stu­dent Ra­heam Bai­ley, he said he is grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to have com­pleted the level two pro­gramme in com­mer­cial food prepa­ra­tion, and the job that the in­sti­tu­tion as­sisted him to ob­tain. He shared that in the fu­ture, he hopes to be­come an ex­ec­u­tive chef.

Mean­while, man­ager at the cen­tre, Ruth James, stated that the vision to of­fer skills to youth from the area, and else­where, has been im­pact­ful.

“We have seen so many young per­sons whose lives have been changed, and they are do­ing very well, all over the world, in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, busi­ness process out­sourc­ing, and at front desks at ho­tels. We are im­pact­ing a great num­ber of per­sons,” she rea­soned.


James said that while the in­sti­tu­tion pro­vides ser­vices pri­mar­ily to stu­dents be­tween the ages of 17 and 35 years, the school also con­tin­ues to reach per­sons who are 35 and older.

She in­formed that on an aver­age, 50 to 70 stu­dents are en­gaged in the day and evening pro­grammes.

“We of­fer at least one month’s work ex­pe­ri­ence, and on most oc­ca­sions these per­sons have gained per­ma­nent em­ploy­ment with the places where they are sent for work ex­pe­ri­ence,” the man­ager shared.

James lauded the HEART Trust/ NTA for pro­vid­ing train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple to gain the nec­es­sary skills needed for the work en­vi­ron­ment.

“The stan­dard of HEART Trust/NTA is in­ter­na­tional; you can go to most coun­tries with their cer­tifi­cates and get a job,” the man­ager stated.


Ruth James (left), man­ager for the St Catherine-based, Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre, shares a mo­ment with (from sec­ond left) stu­dent Alexis Dixon; and for­mer stu­dents Rahiem Bai­ley, Francine McDon­ald Vas­sell, and Muriel Grant at an event held at the school re­cently.

Man­ager for the St Catherine-based Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre, Ruth James (right), in dis­cus­sion with for­mer stu­dents of the in­sti­tu­tion (from left) Muriel Grant and Rahiem Bai­ley, and cur­rent stu­dent Alexis Dixon.

Guardian Life In­sur­ance agent Dillys Lob­ban (stand­ing) en­gages stu­dents at the Span­ish Town Skills Train­ing Cen­tre in St Catherine in a mo­ti­va­tional talk.

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