PetroCaribe provides $402m for engineers training at CMI
The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has received $402 million in grant funding from the PetroCaribe Development Fund for the establishment of a Festo Authorised and Certified Training (FACT) Centre for specialised engineers.
The centre, which is slated to become operational in September 2017, will be the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean and will offer world-class training and certification in robotics, mechatronics and automotive engineering.
It will be the fourth school of the CMI, which is located at Palisadoes Park in Kingston.
Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry said the facility will advance skills development in the country and add to the Government’s growth agenda.
“We are now going to be in a position to train and certify students for high-tech jobs in production (sectors) such as bottling companies and the automotive and biomedical industries,” he pointed out.
The Minister’s remarks were delivered by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr Janine Dawkins, at the official signing ceremony held on Wednesday at the Ministry’s offices located at Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.
He noted that the FESTO certification is a global stamp of approval for specialized engineers such as those who will be trained at the CMI.
Executive Director, CMI, Dr Fritz Pinnock, said the establishment of the PetroCaribe Engineer centre will bolster the institute’s capabilities to deliver international certification in mechatronics and automation to meet the changing needs of the engineering industry.
“This will create certification and training for the new type of engineer, which is now being demanded,” he pointed out.
Dr Pinnock noted that significant opportunities exist within the sector, informing that 4,307 Festo job openings exist in Singapore alone, with salaries starting at US$5,000 per month.
He said interests and requests have already been expressed by local and overseas players for training and certification in the specified areas.
Chief Executive Officer, PetroCaribe Development Fund, Dr Wesley Hughes, said the project represents an investment in technological advancement, which augurs well for the continued development of the country.
“PetroCaribe, as a fund, has to be strategic in its investment and we have put a lot of money into this project, which is going to be the largest single discrete grant project that we have invested in,” he said, adding that the fund also invests in areas of social development.
Ground for the facility was expected to have been broken last Friday, December 2.