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The Ministry of Labour and Social Security yesterday (Oct. 22), launched its Special Youth Employment and Training Project (SYEAT).
Speaking at the launch of the project at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, Minister of Labour, Pearnel Charles stated that the initiative augurs well for the future of Jamaica’s youth.
“Today marks an important start of something new and dynamic in the lives of Jamaican youths. The launch of this initiative, the Special Youth Employment and Training project, under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is geared towards ensuring that Jamaican youths have a future in the productive sector,” Minister Charles emphasised.
He added that with the nation grappling with high levels of unemployment, mainly among the youth cohort, this project is expected to rescue and restore hope for the nation.
“Today our nation’s youth can easily become despondent with the difficulties they have to face in addition to not feeling adequately equipped with the requisite skills and competency. It is projects such as the Special Youth Employment and Training Project, that will rescue and restore hope for these youth,” he outlined.
“This project will provide an avenue to take our youth under the wings of various areas of the productive sector, to begin to nurture productivity within their concept of work, and the world of work,” he added.
Minister Charles further noted that the project is aimed at maximising the potential of the country’s human capital.
“We must seek to mainstream our youths and help them to secure their future as in the long run this will ensure that we can alleviate, if not, eradicate the deterioration in natural human resources, social conflict and political instability. It is but the start of something new, but hopefully this will just be the first of many more projects aimed at mainstreaming youths, to maximise our potential in human capital,” he asserted.
The Special Youth Employment and Training Project, was developed as a short term labour market intervention to promote youth employment and skills training, as well as their overall development.
In keeping with international standards set out by the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda, the project is aimed at providing decent and productive work and training for 10,000 persons.
It targets groups between the ages of 18-25 who will benefit from on the job training and training from vocational institutions. It is expected that 2,500 persons per year, over four years, will be assisted through this project.
Approximately 100 participants have been placed in 25 participating organisations and are now being trained. The project is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the HEART Trust/NTA and the Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning (JFLL) along with several other organisations.