JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister Hanna is assuring potential employers that a cadre of highly skilled and disciplined youth is being groomed by the National Youth Service.
  • The NYS was revamped and strengthened to have a greater impact on the development of the youth and to create more opportunities for them.
  • Youth participating in the NYS programmes have been taught to recognize that it is not only important to obtain a job, but it is also crucial to contribute to the job.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is assuring potential employers that a cadre of highly skilled and disciplined youth is being groomed by the National Youth Service (NYS), to become invaluable assets to their companies.

She said following a strategic move a year and a half ago, the NYS was revamped and strengthened to have a greater impact on the development of the youth and to create more opportunities for them.  This was done in recognition of the fact that a large number of young Jamaicans are unemployed and unattached.

“The Board accepted the policy framework to put the NYS back on firm footing in terms of volunteerism, building that cadre of young people that saw their Jamaican identity as critical in terms of making themselves productive, but also in terms of learning those value systems that were going to be crucial for their own sustainable development,” she said.

The Minister was addressing the launch of the NYS’ Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP), at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, on February 6.

Miss Hanna pointed out that youth participating in the NYS programmes have been taught to recognize that it is not only important to obtain a job, but it is also crucial to contribute to the job and the employers’ establishment as well.

“So at the bottom end, it is not only collecting a pay cheque…and doing nothing, but it’s becoming a valuable person to that establishment,” she said.

The GWEP, successfully piloted last year, was developed based on the increasing underemployment and unemployment rate among youth, specifically university graduates.

The Programme aims to provide tertiary graduates up to 24 years old, with an opportunity to develop workplace skills, while increasing self confidence and developing their skills in the application of theory to the practical work environment.

In the meantime, the NYS is inviting businesses, organisations and institutions to partner with the NYS in providing graduates with relevant work experience.

Under GWEP, the NYS will pay for the intern to work at the organisation for a period of six months.

The NYS is assuring potential partners that it will deliver a university level intern ready for work who is punctual, respectful, disciplined, dedicated, appropriately attired and responsible.

Interested persons can contact the NYS via telephone at: 754-9816;  or email: nationalyouthservice@gmail.com.

In 1973, the Government of Jamaica formed the NYS to help with manpower needs in various sectors of the economy as well as to help school leavers develop a sense of nationalism and proper socialisation.

Since then, young people aged 17 to 24 years, have been equipped with the necessary life coping skills needed to foster their personal and career development as well as enhance their contribution to community and national development.

The NYS has impacted the lives of over 16,000 young people islandwide since 2011. A total of 6,125 youth were engaged in meaningful work experience, voluntary activities and character development workshops in 2013.