JIS News

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  • Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller was one of the signatories on Friday (February 7), to a second Memorandum of Understanding among the NHT, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, the Ministry of Education, the HEART Trust/NTA, and YUTE.
  • Chairman of YUTE, Joseph Matalon, explained that the intervention has become an important case study for the success that can be achieved through public/private partnerships in leveraging resources and management skills to optimize the impact of national and community development programmes and interventions.
  • The MoU also targets at risk candidates in the Kingston Metropolitan area and St. Catherine; provides participants with greater levels of counseling support and also assistance to acquire personal protective gear.

The Government, through the National Housing Trust (NHT), is providing $32 million in financial support for phase two of the Youth Upliftment Through Education (YUTE) Build programme.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller was one of the signatories on Friday (February 7), to a second Memorandum of Understanding among the NHT, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, the Ministry of Education, the HEART Trust/NTA, and the Youth Upliftment Through Employment Limited.

The MoU is aimed at building the capacity of 100 young persons under phase II of the programme. It is designed to increase access to employment for young men and women between 18 to 29 years, from inner-city communities, who have a strong interest in the construction industry.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Mrs. Simpson Miller, said the initiative qualifies as one that will have a ripple effect for generations to come.

“I am encouraged that the success and lessons of the first phase have resulted in an expansion in the second phase to train 100 at-risk youth, expand the duration of the programme to 18 months and to enhance the counseling support provided to the participants,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She acknowledged that the Government has a duty to ensure that the young people are adequately prepared to become employable or create jobs for themselves, and a programme such as YUTE Build is a step in the right direction.

“By imparting new skills to our youth, we are seeking to engage them in the national productivity drive. Equally important, we want them to develop and maintain a sense of self-worth which is essential to their physical, mental and social well-being,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She commended the private sector, non-governmental organisations, faith- based organisations, the NHT, and other state agencies for working together to make the programme a success.

Chairman of YUTE, Joseph Matalon, explained that the intervention has become an important case study for the success that can be achieved through public/private partnerships in leveraging resources  and management skills to optimize the impact of national and community development programmes and interventions.

“It is time that we all, the private sector, public sector and non governmental organisations, forge greater synergies to strategise and cooperate on initiatives geared to adjust the skills sets of the unemployed to meet the demands of the labour market. In turn, we can reduce the cultural and socio-economic susceptibility of Jamaica’s inner-city youth to the attractions of crime,” he said.

Mr. Matalon reported that over three years and within three streams, YUTE provided educational, technical, job readiness and social skills training as well as job placement, mentorship and personal development training.

“Of the just over 1600 participants actually reached, YUTE provided  more than 2600 training, coaching and/or job placement opportunities; 850 employment opportunities; 514 youngsters who received remedial or pre-skills training; 383 received skills training; 470 received entrepreneurship training and 80 at risk youth received intensive social intervention in the U-Turn programme,” the YUTE Chairman reported.

In addition to an increase in the number of participants under phase II, key features of the MoU include: “pre-skills” literacy and numeracy training for 50 participants who are enrolling in the programme but who lack the minimum qualifications required by the HEART Trust/NTA; and opportunities for up to 10 participants to receive training in construction skills at HEART Level II. Some of these persons would have participated in YUTE Build 1 and received commendations from their instructors.

The MoU also targets at risk candidates in the Kingston Metropolitan area and St. Catherine; provides participants with greater levels of counseling support and also assistance to acquire personal protective gear.

There will be two cohorts of participants who will be given a stipend of $1,000 per day for two days, while participating in classroom training, and $1,600 per day for four days while participating in the four- month work experience phase.