USF Offers Second Chance to Unattached Youth

Jamaica News: Six hundred unattached youth will get the opportunity to restructure their lives through the Universal Service Fund’s (USF) Technology Advancement Programme (TAP), at the start of the upcoming academic year.

Details were outlined at the launch of the second phase of the programme at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (July 30).

Persons interested in applying can contact the USF, which is an agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, that is mandated to ensure Jamaica becomes a knowledge-based society.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, said TAP will welcome unattached youth who are interested and offer them a stipend, three months’ training from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) and nine months on-the-job experience.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams (right), listens to National Coordinator, Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Rickman (left), at the launch of the second phase of the Technology Advancement Programme, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, on Tuesday (July 30). At centre is Chief Executive Officer, Universal Service Fund (USF), Daniel Dawes.

“Together, the lives of some 600 young men and women will be transformed as they gain skills and experiences to actively participate in a digital society,” Mrs. Williams said.

She said that after TAP was launched in December 2017, approximately 1,000 unattached youth have been assisted between 2018 and 2019.

“Many of these young people did not complete a secondary-level education. For others, they had difficulty assimilating into a structured workforce. TAP created a bridge where we were able to develop within our youth the technological know-how to successfully navigate and contribute to this economy and the betterment of their lives,” she said.

For this second phase, the programme will be joined with the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, with which the National Coordinator, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Rickman, said they are pleased to partner, in reducing the number of unattached youth.

“The estimate of unattached youth in Jamaica is well over 200,000 who want opportunities,” he said.

Colonel Rickman said there are numerous areas from which unattached youth can choose when they enrol, such as document management, digitising, construction, maintenance and office support.

The Valedictorian of the first phase of TAP, Oshane Stewart, said the programme has not only changed his life, but that of numerous others.

“This is a timely response to youth unemployment, which is perhaps the greatest and most pressing social and economic challenge facing our country at this moment,” Mr. Stewart said.

He said some of the other participants, whose testimonials he heard, emphasised how their lives were enhanced after being enrolled in the first phase of the programme.


Source: JIS News

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