JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Measures being implemented by Government should see a reduction in the number of Jamaicans, who receive welfare support, over the next two years.
  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is introducing a $600 million welfare-to-work programme for some 2,000 PATH beneficiaries.
  • The initiative will be carried out under the Steps-To-Work programme providing them with training and on-the-job experience to enable them to seek and retain employment.

Measures being implemented by Government should see a reduction in the number of Jamaicans, who receive welfare support, over the next two years.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is introducing a $600 million welfare-to-work programme for some 2,000 beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

The initiative will be carried out under the Steps-To-Work programme, which targets working age members of families on PATH, providing them with training and on-the-job experience to enable them to seek and retain employment.

“Looking ahead, the Steps-to-Work Programme will support the Ministry’s graduation strategy, which will see some 1,000 PATH families (or about 2,000 individuals) participating in the phased implementation of a welfare-to-work programme,” explained Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier.

He was speaking recently at the official closing ceremony for the 2014 Steps-to-Work summer camp held at the Chestervale Youth Camp in Eco Village, St. Andrew.

A total of 111 at-risk youth from PATH beneficiary households island-wide, received skills and development training at this year’s camp.

The camp provided an opportunity for school dropouts to develop literacy and job skills to re-enter the school system or seek employment.

Minister Kellier said that the Steps-to-Work Programme is about graduating people from welfare to well-being.

“PATH and Steps-to-Work are important elements of the National Social Protection Strategy, and are recognition of the powerful outcome that is possible when the country invests in human capital,” Minister Kellier said.