JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More than 1,800 young persons in six parishes will receive training under a $46.7 million programme being implemented by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.
  • The initiative will target youths in the sugar producing parishes of St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Westmoreland, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, and Trelawny.
  • They will be trained in housekeeping, small equipment repair, apiculture, commercial meal preparation, and heavy equipment maintenance and operation.

More than 1,800 young persons in six parishes will receive training under a $46.7 million programme being implemented by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

The initiative, which is being funded by the European Union through the Sugar Transformation Unit, will target youths in the sugar producing parishes of St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Westmoreland, Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, and Trelawny.

They will be trained in housekeeping, small equipment repair, apiculture, commercial meal preparation, and heavy equipment maintenance and operation.

In his contribution to the State of the Nation debate in the Senate on Friday, March 14, Government Senator and President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant, said the first batch of 600 youths are presently in training under the programme.

The training, which began on February 1, is being held at the 4-H Centres in Denbigh, Clarendon; Rose Hall, St. Catherine; and Font Hill in St. Thomas.

The programme will run for six months, after which trainees will be placed in jobs, as well as assisted in starting their own businesses, Mr. Grant said.

In the meantime, Senator Grant informed that the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and the HEART Trust/NTA are currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at certifying all the training programmes offered by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

Among the targeted programmes is the tractor operation and maintenance course, which trains batches of 25 young people on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs has forged a partnership with the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) to train students as heavy equipment operators. The present group of 50 has been sponsored at a cost of $7 million.

The training is in response to the demand expected as a result of the Logistics Hub Initiative for heavy equipment operators.

Mr. Grant informed that in the past year, the 4-H Clubs has trained 135 youths in this area, while also assisting them with employment.

“Since we introduced the Japanese-Government-funded programme in 2004, with the donation of a Massey Ferguson Tractor, we have trained 813 youths,” he said.

Also in the area of training and youth empowerment, Senator Grant pointed out that a total of 20 young persons have been selected to establish farms on five-acre plots of land received under the government’s agro-parks initiative.

The first group of 20 will be placed at the Amity Hall facility in St. Catherine. The concept will be replicated at the other agro-parks, based on the success of the pilot initiative.