PHILIPSBURG–Five members of the Council of Ministers on St. Maarten led by Prime Minister the Honourable Leona Marlin-Romeo visited the National Institute for Professional Advancement NIPA institute in Cay Hill on Wednesday morning for an exclusive tour of the facility.
During the tour, the Ministers also received an update on developments at the facility including the progress of the training programmes. The group was met by Deshaun David Manager, Macoya Workforce Development Centre for MIC Institute of Technology in Trinidad, along with Peggy-Ann Dros-Richardson from the board of NIPA. David, who is amongst five instructors providing specialised training to members of the community in the area of Masonry, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical Installation, and General Property Maintenance, provided information on the progress being made with regards to training.
He explained that while they intend to introduce a Welding program, some safety issues have to be resolved to ensure the protection of staff and students and the facility. Once all precautionary measures are in place, the Welding programme can commence. Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin commended the instructors and Board of NIPA on their successful operation of the institution. She said “out of chaos there is an opportunity” noting that the NIPA’s special Technical Vocational Education programmes were increasingly important based on the need for skilled workers to help St. Maarten rebuild following the Island’s devastation by Hurricane Irma in 2017.
The Ministers took a keen interest in several of the programme’s participants both men and women, who were engaged in training in the field of Masonry work. They also got a walkthrough of the kitchen where students were being trained in the culinary area.
The MIC instructors are also teaching local instructors, as the goal is to ensure that the programme can be locally run by qualified individuals. According to the MIC Institute of Technology’s website the organisation, formally known as Metal Industries Company Limited MIC, “is a multi-functional institution with a commercial operations component conducted under the aegis of the Industry Services Division.”
“Over the past forty (40) years of the company’s existence, our products and services have aided in the transformation of the industrial sector both locally and regionally, catering to evolving technical and training needs.” They specialise in the “development of Vocational, Technical and National competencies through training, innovation, manufacturing and engineering products and services.” MIC follows the German Dual System of Technical Vocational Training and uses the Factory Training Concept to develop theoretical and practical skills. MIC founded its National Skills Development Programme in 1994 in Trinidad and Tobago, and to today the organisation has several training facilities throughout the country.