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Career retraining for farmers

Vocational and skills training is being provided through existing programmes at HEART Trust/NTA and partner institutions for former farmers who are in need of new areas of earning.

The 15-month project began in October 2008 and will end in December 2009, at a cost of 354,700 euros, funded by the European Union and HEART Trust/NTA.

Participants will be required to pass a grade-nine level test that will concentrate on general knowledge, practical mathematics and English language.

Remedial training programmes

Computer-based training to be offered includes ICT-enabled remedial training programmes comprising WordCraft - reading and writing, and MathCraft - grades one-nine will be conducted over a six-month period. Not all project participants will get this type of training.

HEART Trust/NTA in association with the European Union Banana Sector Retraining Project is seeking to retrain displaced workers and farmers in the banana industry and those whose jobs may disappear because of loss of preferential treatment in the European market.

It is being implemented in the six traditional banana-growing parishes: St James, St Catherine, St Thomas, St Mary, Portland and Clarendon.

It comprises continuous training needs analysis, career counselling workshops, prevocational, vocational skills and computer-based training.

The project will teach participants modern skills for transition to new areas of employment or skills to improve banana productivity. The ultimate goal of the EUBSR Project is to ease participant's uncertainty about their future and give them sustainable skill sets.

Prevocational-training programmes will focus on the employability skills of the participants in areas such as communicating effectively in the workplace and working in a team.

Project partners in this retraining exercise include the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Education, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, All-Island Banana Growers Association, Jamaica Agricultural Society, Social Development Commission, Jamaica Producers and the Fair Trading Commission.
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