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A total of 5,000 persons will be facilitated under this year’s renewal of the Government’s National Youth Summer Employment Programme (NYSEP), slated for August.

This was disclosed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, who indicated that the number represents an increase of 1,000 persons over the number of participants last year.

He was making his 2020/21 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (July 21), under the theme ‘Building National Resilience through Continuous Investment in Local Government’.

The NYSEP, which falls under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, provides educational and job opportunities over four weeks for young people, aged 18 to 24, who are not employed or enrolled in a school or programme of training.

It is spearheaded by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.

Mr. McKenzie indicated that while the Ministry planned to extend the programme to eight weeks this year, they were forced to keep it over four weeks due to several challenges.

He advised that this year’s participants will be engaged in several COVID-19-related activities islandwide, which will involve surveys, among other activities, in support of the national response to the outbreak, adding that “already, there are some of them out there who are doing the work”.

Mr. McKenzie told the House that more than 12,000 persons have been employed under the Programme since its inception in 2017.

Of this number, he said 600 have gained permanent employment, while another 230 are being trained and certified by the HEART/NSTA Trust.

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