Feature
Principal of the HEART College of Hospitality Services, Shorna Myrie, addresses trainees of the HEART Trust/NTA National Unattached Youth Programme (NUYP), during its Job Readiness Exit, Skills Competition and Professional Seminar, which was held at the HEART College of Innovation and Technology in Montego Bay, St. James, recently.
Photo: Serena Grant

Story Highlights

  • Trainees of the HEART Trust/NTA National Unattached Youth Programme (NUYP), Western leg, are lauding the initiative as their second chance to enter the workforce as certified individuals.
  • In an interview with JIS News, NUYP bartending trainee at the TOP Learning Academy in St. James, Tracey-Ann Mitchell, says the programme is “a good opportunity for young people, as it pushes us to a level where we can succeed in life.”
  • “Even if you are a dropout, you can still be a part of the programme and get a skill, because without a skill, we cannot reach certain areas in life,” she adds.

Trainees of the HEART Trust/NTA National Unattached Youth Programme (NUYP), Western leg, are lauding the initiative as their second chance to enter the workforce as certified individuals.

In an interview with JIS News, NUYP bartending trainee at the TOP Learning Academy in St. James, Tracey-Ann Mitchell, says the programme is “a good opportunity for young people, as it pushes us to a level where we can succeed in life.”

“Even if you are a dropout, you can still be a part of the programme and get a skill, because without a skill, we cannot reach certain areas in life,” she adds.

For her part, Novelette Webster, who is pursuing a cake decorating course at the Green Pond High School in St. James, says the programme is a good one.

“Because of this programme, I know how to bake a variety of cakes, and moving forward from here, I am planning to have my own business or to be a pastry chef,” Ms. Webster tells JIS News.

The trainees were in attendance at the programme’s Job Readiness Exit, Skills Competition and Professional Seminar, which was held recently at the HEART College of Innovation and Technology in Montego Bay, St. James.

The NUYP provides opportunities for unattached youth to get certified in various skills, such as cake baking, housekeeping, bartending, tour guiding and business administration.

The programme lasts between six and nine months, depending on the skill area, and is designed for unattached youth 17 to 30 years of age.

Project and Partnership Specialist for the NUYP, Shernette Spence, tells JIS News that the programme is a partnership with the Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the island.

“The MPs are responsible for recruiting participants for the programme and when they come in, we provide training for them in skill areas based on labour market demand,” she explains.

“So, what is in demand we train them in. Upon completion, the trainees will get a Level 2 certificate in the area they were trained,” she adds.

Ms. Spence says that Coordinators of the NUYP fill out a register of persons who have finished their courses, “which we will send to our regional offices and then the Employee and Career Services Department will assist in the job placement of the trainees.”

HEART Trust/NTA National Unattached Youth Programme (NUYP) bartending trainees do a demonstration during the programme’s Job Readiness Exit, Skills Competition and Professional Seminar, which was held at the HEART College of Innovation and Technology in Montego Bay, St. James, recently.

 

“They are also encouraged to go to the regional offices to fill out the job placement forms,” she tells JIS News.

In the meantime, Principal of the HEART College of Hospitality, Shorna Myrie, is encouraging the trainees to be humble when entering the world of work.

“You have to start somewhere. You may go to work in the hospitality industry on the first day, and all you get to do is polish silver and shine (wine) glasses, and you are not allowed to serve the guests,” she says.

“You cannot have the attitude that ‘I have a certificate and therefore I am to start as a server on the line.’ No, you have to crawl before you walk,” she adds.

Mrs. Myrie is also encouraging the trainees to take full advantage of opportunities presented when they enter the labour force.

“Expose yourselves to successful experiences, never (bypass) an opportunity to shine. Do not tell yourself that you can’t. If somebody gives you an opportunity to do something, never say no,” she advises.

The seminar included presentations on employers’ expectations, becoming an entrepreneur, financial literacy and budgeting. There was also the viewing and judging of trainees’ skills and business pitches.