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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of National Security has partnered with the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) to create training opportunities in stevedoring for 30 at-risk youth in the Corporate Area.
  • The initiative is estimated to cost just over $10 million, and will benefit young men drawn from Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) participating communities.
  • They will be involved in an Integrated Apprenticeship Programme at the SAJ over a seven-month period.

The Ministry of National Security has partnered with the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) to create training opportunities in stevedoring for 30 at-risk youth in the Corporate Area.

The initiative is estimated to cost just over $10 million, and will benefit young men drawn from Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) participating communities. They will be involved in an Integrated Apprenticeship Programme at the SAJ over a seven-month period.

Stevedoring, which involves the loading and unloading of ships, represents a fast growing, demand-driven skill set in the maritime and port communities.

Speaking at the official signing ceremony for the project today (September 17), at the SAJ offices in Kingston, Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, said such training initiatives are integral to the Government’s crime-fighting measures and strategies.

He said the training will provide a platform for employment for the participants and urged them to give of their best.

“Don’t look at it as a training programme, look at it as an opportunity to demonstrate that you deserve to be a full-time employee,” he advised.

President of SAJ, Kim Clarke, told the participants that while the training will not be easy, “it will help shape your life for the better.”

He said his company looks forward to working with the Ministry in the creation of other programmes and opportunities, which will assist in reducing crime and violence and, ultimately, enhance the country’s economic development.

Allicks Burnette, who is among those who will benefit from the training, said that being affiliated with the CSJP has transformed his life. He has pledged to continue striving for excellence.

The CSJP, implemented in 2001, has positively impacted the socio-economic prospects for thousands of inner-city youth through vocational skills training, tuition support, job placement and employment internships.

Minister Bunting informed that the programme has resulted in a decrease in crimes in several of the selected communities.

“In parishes that have the concentration of CSJP communities, Kingston and

St. Andrew, and St. Catherine, we have not seen an increase in either murder or other serious or violent crime and it just could be that we are starting to see the benefits of the long-term intervention (of the programme),” he informed.

The CSJP primarily targets the most at-risk youth whose vulnerability stem from having dropped out of school or being in conflict with the law.

Now in its third component, the multifaceted crime and violence prevention initiative focuses on building community safety and security, and reducing poverty. It currently provides crime prevention services to 50 volatile and vulnerable communities across eight parishes.