The long-anticipated Automotive Workshop and Heavy Equipment Maintenance programme of the LindenRepresentatives of the Education Ministry and the Canadian High Commission at the ribbon cutting ceremonyTechnical Institute (LTI) was launched on Tuesday, following an official ceremony on the lawns of the institution in the presence of students, dignitaries and representatives of partnering associations.The initiative is a partnership between the Education Ministry and the LTI in partnership with College of the North Atlantic, the Marine Institute of Newfoundland Canada and MACORP.Chief Education Officer Olato Sam, in delivering his remarks before the gathering, applauded the partners in the initiative, while emphasising that it was expected that the facility would be a centre of excellence in heavy-duty equipment in the Linden community.The modern facility, situated in the compound of the LTI, initially took shape in 2006 and was officially declared open. The facility is equipped with offices as well as tool, operation, lecture and locker rooms to facilitate both students and lecturers.Referring to it as a significant community asset, Sam further encouraged the need to optimise its use, preserve and maintain it for future use as well as to ensure that the true essence of the project for education and employment was realised. The Chief Education Officer said the reality was that LTI was underutilised, which was ironic given the unemployment in the community. He stressed the need to embrace Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).Canadian High Commission Charge d’Affaires Daniel Joly, in delivering brief remarks, noted the importance of such partnerships between training institutions and industries, pointing out that it was critical to bridging the gap which existed in the Caribbean and throughout the world between skilled persons and employers seeking those skills. Further emphasising the importance, he noted that the Canadian college system had been very successful in promoting partnerships with industries and were involved in technical and vocational education. On that note, he said MACORP was visionary in establishing the link with LTI.Speaking on behalf of MACORP, Training Coordinator Miguel Oviedo said LTI was chosen as a pilot institution for the programme and praised the collaboration. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), he said, was signed between LTI and MACORP in 2013 to identify and ensure mutual relations to assist with the development of Guyanese through employment in the mining sector. Oviedo said MACORP would continue its support to LTI.Also present at the ceremony were LTI Board Chairman Gordon Gumbs, Regional Chairman Renis Morian, Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland and representatives of the Education Ministry.