JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The annual Steps-to-Work summer camps have been successful in helping to re-integrate at-risk young people into the formal education system.
  • A total of 111 at-risk youth from Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiary households island-wide, benefited from skills and development training at this year’s camp.
  • The young people age 14 to 17 years, were taught vocational, behaviour modification, and life skills, while befitting from career development training.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the annual Steps-to-Work summer camps have been successful in helping to re-integrate at-risk young people into the formal education system.

“The summer camp intervention has proven to be very effective in meeting its objectives as results show that upwards of 83 per cent of the participants are ultimately re-integrated in some form of educational institution and training…The Steps-to-Work programme is about graduating people from welfare to well-being,” he stated.

The Minister was speaking on Wednesday, September 3, at the official closing ceremony for the 2014 summer camp held at the  Chestervale Youth Camp in Eco Village, St. Andrew.

A total of 111 at-risk youth from Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiary households island-wide, benefited from skills and development training at this year’s camp.

During the two-week residential camp, which commenced on August 22, the young people age 14 to 17 years, were taught vocational, behaviour modification, and life skills, while befitting from career development training.

The camp provides an opportunity for school dropouts to develop literacy and job skills to re-enter the school system or seek employment.

Dr. Kellier reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to assisting young people to go back to school, and attain secondary or higher certification, to participate in the labour market as productive citizens.

“Being disconnected from school and the labour market will only lead to scarring you for life in terms of lowering your earning potential in the future and we are committed therefore to improving training, education and employment outcomes for youth like yourselves,” he said.

Minister Kellier, who is also the Acting Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, urged the participants to explore career opportunities in agriculture. “Invest in or support some agricultural venture in your communities to promote farming as a way of life as well as the buy Jamaica, eat Jamaica campaign,” he encouraged.

Steps-to-Work, a project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, is designed to deliver interventions to beneficiaries of PATH.

The aim is to wean beneficiaries from the programme, by providing them with training, entrepreneurship and employment skills to become economically self-sufficient and provide for themselves and their families.

Numeracy and literacy training is provided through the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), while persons, who are literate, are engaged in studies to obtain certification through the HEART/NTA and other institutions.