CABINET yesterday approved plans to build a $67.3 million training centre at Chaguanas to target 1,000 young students, Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim announced yesterday.
Speaking at the post-Cabinet media briefing – at which measures were also announced to increase grants for low-income families – Karim said the State hopes to complete construction work on the new facility at Woodford Lodge, Chaguanas, by the end of the year or early 2014. The facility is to be built on former Caroni (1975) Ltd lands, utilitising structures already in place there.
“This investment is well worth it. It will be an investment in the nation’s human development capital,” the minister said at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
Karim said the facility will involve five pre-engineered buildings and involve a refurbishment of a building which currently houses derelict vehicles on ten acres of land at the site. The facility will be for technical vocational training in fields such as metal work, trade school, hydraulics, energy and automotive studies.
Karim said the facility will be national but acknowledged that, “the citizens of the entire country, and more particularly in the context of Chaguanas” would benefit.
“There is concern that young persons are not able to access jobs and to fulfill the requirements of jobs,” he said. He said the new facility will host the National Energy Skills Centre, YTEPP and there will be a Transport and Field Engineering Department.
“It may be small but it is going to be a state of the art regional centre of excellence,” he said.
The minister said 20 acres of land at Connector Road close to Pierre Road, Charlieville, is allocated to training facilities.
“It is very evident that we need to prepare our workforce in response to market demand,” he said. He said the Point Lisas Industrial Apprenticeship programme will soon come on stream.