Training programme aims to provide young Jamaicans with job opportunities
KINGSTON, JAMAICA — Thanks to a new training programme designed to help young people earn a decent living for themselves, 27 Jamaicans have recently been hired as truck drivers.
This is after they completed six-month-long training programmes to ensure they were properly skilled to take on the task.
Thanks to the Articulated Truck Driving Programme (ATD), 27 “young men and women are equipped to take up well-paying jobs in commercial truck driving”, according to a statement by the government.
“The young people graduated from the Articulated Truck Driving Programme, which is spearheaded by the Ministry of National Security in collaboration with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), HEART NSTA/Trust and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU),” the statement read.
“The programme aims to prepare individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate articulated and combination vehicles, including trailers, trucks, buses, delivery vehicles, for-hire and other commercial vehicles.”
Better job prospects for young Jamaicans
The new hires benefitted from more than just job placement. They each received a National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certificate, and those without licenses were awarded a general driver’s license.
This adds to their employability, as their new skills and certification will grant them eligibility for future job prospects as well.
In particular, skilled labour shortages have driven international companies to recruit from all over the globe — including the Caribbean — to fill gaps.
Truck driver shortages plagued both the United States and Canada up to late fall 2022.
Online job placement and recruitment resources like Caribbean Employment Services Inc. dedicated to helping Caribbean residents find their perfect job have often partnered with foreign companies in this effort.
As such, it would not be surprising to see young, skilled Jamaican truck drivers being recruited to live and work abroad in the future should they wish to capitalize on the opportunity.
This is also in line with the wishes of the Jamaican government, which expressly stated that the ATD programme is “one of several initiatives by the government to give hope to the youth and to provide them with the opportunity to earn through legitimate means”.
In fact, as he addressed the young new workers, Minister of National Security Horace Chang said, “This is the type of youth engagement this government is deeply committed to expanding…
“That’s where we are putting more funding and that’s where we are using our intellectual strength — to create the kind of opportunities necessary to reach as many of our young people [as possible].”