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A sum of $40 million is to be spent on the National Summer Employment Programme this year, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd told the House of Representatives, yesterday (June 28).
Making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate, Dr. Rhodd pointed out that to date, more than 19,000 young Jamaicans have benefited from the programme, with the government spending some $170 million for its funding.
“The Summer Employment Programme is investing in our future and it too has also been packaged, stamped and delivered. It is on a solid foundation and it is securing the future of our youth,” he said.
The programme was developed to provide meaningful employment for inner city youth. As a result of the success of the programme, Dr. Rhodd said, it has been expanded to every parish and was now one of the annual expectations of young persons on summer vacation.
“Undoubtedly, it has become a part of the national mainstay in the social landscape of Jamaica,” Dr. Rhodd said, adding that since the introduction of this programme, the budget has steadily increased from $1 million to more than $35 million.
The programme, he said, has been expanded to meet the needs of tertiary students and now stood at 4,000 young Jamaicans every summer. “It has ensured that all who apply are interviewed with the prospect of receiving a summer placement,” he said.