KCDI Jamaica and HEART/NSTA Trust offer interment operation programme
THROUGH THE partnership of HEART/NSTA Trust and the Kevoy Community Development Institute (KCDI) Jamaica, those working in the burial services industry have been offered an opportunity to become trained partitioners in the field.
Dr Donovan Mclaren, executive chair at KCDI Jamaica, a registered charitable organisation, informed The Gleaner that the programme is the first of its kind to be offered in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.
He noted the organisation’s interest stemmed from the workers who, despite dedicating numerous years of service, did not hold positions that qualified them for a pension.
After conducting an informal survey, Mclaren added that this problem was not only found in Jamaica but across the region. He further noted that Barbados was the only country found categorising workers in the burial sector as a part of the formal economy.
But, after undergoing training, the workers will receive certification.
“So, against this background, KCDI Jamaica engaged the national training agency in regards to developing a training programme that would increase their standard of living and their families’, and be able to be considered as trained practitioners in this business,” Mclaren said.
The HEART/NSTA TRUST/KCDI Jamaica’s Interment Operation NVQ (National Vocational Qualification)-j level 2 programme has been approved at the national and regional levels.
The course has been fully accredited by HEART/NSTA Trust. The programme targets not only grave diggers, but managers for the cemetery, individuals working as landscapers, mausoleum crypt builders and drivers of the backhoe.
Workers at all public and private cemeteries across the island are being invited to enrol. Interested persons can undergo a job certification programme which lasts six weeks or undergo the standard eight-month-long programme.
Mclaren further hopes that the programme will be able to kickstart for the upcoming school semester in September. He is also lobbying for the programme to be pushed with the help of HEART/ NSTA Trust to have it receive a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), which is a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) approved award representing achievement of a set of competencies which define core work practices of an occupational area, consistent with the levels articulated within the regional qualifications framework.
“To date, other Caribbean islands have expressed an interest formally,” he added, noting that Grenada and Trinidad are now looking towards having the programme implemented in their country.
In order to meet the training needs of Caribbean populations, KCDI Jamaica continues to collaborate with stakeholders such as tertiary institutions, the private and public sectors, multilateral organisations, and donors, to develop and implement useful and life-changing courses.