Jamaica News: Ninety-one unattached young people from several communities in Kingston and St. James are to benefit from skills training under a $50-million Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP).
The initiative, being implemented by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), will engage the youngsters in intensive training over a 12-month period in the areas of mechatronics, heavy-duty equipment operation, and landscape design and construction.
The training will be carried out by the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) through its Faculty of Advanced Skills and Professional Development.
National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who brought greetings at the orientation exercise held on Thursday (March 14) at the CMU campus in Kingston, said that the initiative is part of the Government’s crime-prevention strategy.
“This high-quality intervention… is in keeping with the Ministry’s strategic framework, which is pinned to crime prevention through social development,” he said.
He noted that the initiative will equip the participants with globally marketable skills and certification.
“As our logistics and port sectors expand, these young people will be able to find work in value-added businesses, nearshore operations and a variety of industrial fields,” he said.
President of CMU, Professor Fritz Pinnock, said that the programme is targeted at young people, aged 20 to 29, most of whom are males.
“It is about developing strong men… . We have chosen areas that are linked to specialised skills. These areas are skills that are in demand and we have employers who are waiting for these graduates at the end of the programme. We are integrating them into a programme that is certified and has currency globally,” he said.
Programme participant, Shannon Morrison, an apprentice engineer from the Waterhouse community in lower St. Andrew, told JIS News that he is hoping to matriculate to the CMU’s engineering programme following completion of the YEP.
“What I am looking to get out of the programme is to improve the set of skills I have now… . It is important to us young men because it opens opportunities… . There are brilliant minds in the Waterhouse community. We just need the opportunity to go out there, develop our skills and better ourselves. My advice to my peers is to take the opportunities as they come,” he encouraged.
YEP is a CMU certificate programme aimed at increasing the number of young people benefiting from employment and professional development.
Meanwhile, a sum of $60 million is being invested to procure simulation equipment for the establishment of a CMU off-campus training site in St. James.
This will assist in increasing training opportunities for unattached youth in the western section of the island.
Source: JIS News