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A total of 300 young people are to benefit from six-months of work experience in health-related fields under the National Youth Services (NYS) health corps programme.
A 28-day residential camp was held at the Knox Community College’s Cobbla Campus in Manchester from late March to mid-April, where the youngsters, who are high school graduates age 17 to 24 years, received career training, while being socialized and oriented with the core values and attitudes for the workforce.
They also learnt skills in leadership and behavioural development, customer service and information technology.
Executive Director of the NYS, Rev. Adinhair Jones, speaking at the graduation ceremony held recently at Cobbla, said that suitable avenues must be provided for young people to make the transition into becoming responsible adults and that the health corps provides such an avenue.
He said that the Ministry of Health and Environment has spent $40 million on the health corps programme because “the whole guiding philosophy behind youth development is investment in human capital. It is the greatest asset any country has.”
“That is what the whole development of youth is all about. It is an investment and just like any investment, it requires a return on the investment,” he stated, while urging the graduates, who come from all across the island, to make the most of the opportunity.
Centre Manager, Enel Lewis, in his remarks, said that the training was “not only about discipline,” noting that “participants were exposed to real life scenarios”.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) was instrumental in the training in terms of the disciplinary aspect.
The NYS was established in 1973 and re-launched in 1995 after a 12-year break. Its mandate is to tackle youth issues such as unemployment, academic underachievement, lack of training opportunities for the youth, and to make a meaningful impact on the number of unattached young people in Jamaica.

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