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  • State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging business owners to facilitate the placement of more National Youth Service (NYS) Summer Programme participants in their organisations.
  • The State Minister was speaking at the 2016 launch of the programme, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, today (April 19).
  • The NYS, through its Empowerment Programme component, facilitates the job placement of persons with mild intellectual disabilities.

State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging business owners to facilitate the placement of more National Youth Service (NYS) Summer Programme participants in their organisations.

“I know it is very difficult for small and medium enterprises (to take on  these young persons), but the sort of social service that you are doing and the fact that we are helping to make Jamaica a better place, cannot be tied down to a monetary value,” he said.

The State Minister was speaking at the 2016 launch of the programme, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, today (April 19).

He encouraged those businesses already on board to “take some more,” and those who are yet to get involved in the initiative to “take at least one intern,” as the NYS seeks to engage 6,000 young persons in the programme this year.

Mr. Green also urged the business community to take on persons with special needs. The NYS, through its Empowerment Programme component, facilitates the job placement of persons with mild intellectual disabilities.

“The Empowerment Programme has gone a far way in injecting a sense of purpose, pride and making our young people with special needs ready for the workforce. We believe that we have to make special provisions for our young people with disabilities and as such, we will continue to increase the number of young people with disabilities in our employment programme,” he said.

Emphasising that “the Government is serious about putting our young people to work,” Mr. Green explained that young people engaged in the NYS Summer programme benefit from the development of skills, which will prepare them for the working environment.

He thanked all the entities that have been accommodating participants over the years, particularly members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) who started a partnership with the NYS last year to assist with job placements.

“There is no way we can achieve any of this without significant partnership. I thank the PSOJ in partnering with the NYS. We are serious about partnership. We understand, as a Government, that we will be unable to achieve our grand objectives without a serious partnership for prosperity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), PSOJ, Dennis Chung, said the organisation is happy to join the other companies in collaborating with NYS to provide employment for the summer workers.

Mr. Chung said he is pleased to see that the programme has been growing over the years with more entities coming on board.

“It is important for us to engage in this sort of initiative. The more we have these (types of programmes) is the greater impact we can make. We can start creating jobs, so we can develop independence in young people, and we can start changing the social conditions and the value system (within the) home,” he added.

For his part, Executive Director, NYS, Denis Lawrence, said the increased engagement of participants to 5,205 last year, was largely due to the partnership with the private sector in that period.

Mr. Lawrence noted that the programme is important to the overall development of young people. “Apart from the experience that they gain, they are able to look and plot their course going forward. They also learn other skills, such as volunteerism and discipline,” he said.

The yearly NYS initiative is a three-week work orientation programme, aimed at providing participants, aged 17 to 24, with valuable work experience to facilitate their career development.

The programme partners with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), private and public sector organisations for work placement. The placement period consists of two three-week phases, which will run from July 4 to 22, and August 8 to 26 this year.