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$28m technology centre in Penal by next month
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is expected to open the $28 million Metal Industries Company (MIC) Institute of Technology in her constituency on May 21, three days before her administration marks its fourth year in office. Tertiary Education and Skills Training Minister Fazal Karim gave the opening date during a visit to the almost completed institute over the weekend.
He said the MIC centre in Diego Martin Centre also was scheduled to be opened next month. Karim was accompanied by chairman of MIC David Lee and, National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) chairman Feeroz Khan on the Penal visit. There are also two secondary schools located opposite the centre.
Khan said some of the courses being offered are solar and photovoltaic energy, electrical installation, food preparation and culinary arts, dietetics, as well as some traditional programmes, such as carpentry, plumbing, masonry, which will all be taught over a two-year period. Shorter courses, including computer literacy, and some supporting courses, such as entrepreneurship and lifeskills, also are being offered.
All of these courses are scheduled to start from September, Khan said. Karim said the facility, which was within schedule for completion and had incurred no cost overruns, would double as an institute of technology as well as a Workforce Assessment Centre (WAC). He said it will cater to the needs of the local labour market as it moves from being low-skill/low-wage to high-skill/high-wage. “The WAC will aid workers who have competencies but are not yet certified and will offer training from levels one to four,” he added.
He said full-time and part-time classes would also begin next month with a projected intake of between 200-300 students in order to maximise the use of the facility. The land on which the centre is constructed was donated by State-owned oil and gas company Petrotrin and to that end, Karim said, priority would be given to Petrotrin workers and their children to access the programmes.