- The first batch of 250 participants have been recruited under the newly instituted National Service Corps (NSC) Programme.
- The youngsters, aged 18 to 23, will benefit from military, vocational and life skills training over the one-year period.
- Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, met with the participants at the JDF headquarters at Up Park Camp on Sunday (June 25).
The first batch of 250 participants have been recruited under the newly instituted National Service Corps (NSC) Programme.
These recruits are the first of four batches who will be trained by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) this year.
The youngsters, aged 18 to 23, will benefit from military, vocational and life skills training over the one-year period.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, met with the participants at the JDF headquarters at Up Park Camp on Sunday (June 25).
This was shortly before they began their training sessions at the JDF training facility at New Castle in the hills of St. Andrew.
The Prime Minister encouraged the recruits to make the best of the opportunity that they have been given, noting that many other persons would have wanted to be enlisted.
“Having gone through this NSC, your possibilities are endless. You would be far more employable than if you had not gone through this programme. We want to give as many Jamaican youngsters as possible this opportunity,” he said.
“I’m expecting that you will make the most of the programme, and I’m expecting that the programme will be a success for other young men and women to come in and benefit,” Mr. Holness added.
The Prime Minister emphasised that the programme will equip the recruits with the ability to solve problems, manage stress and lead healthy lifestyles.
He explained that through the NSC, the Government is seeking to leverage the training skills of the JDF to better the lives of young men and women across Jamaica, “who are seeking to develop themselves and who are looking for an alternative to the life that they now lead”.
The Prime Minister pointed out that similar programmes have been implemented in other countries, such as Israel, Switzerland and South Korea, and they have resulted in greater discipline, orderliness, more togetherness, higher productivity and less crime. Mr. Holness said he is hoping for the same results in Jamaica.
During the training period, recruits will undergo a modified version of the JDF’s traditional basic military training. They will also undergo on-the-job training in various aspects of the JDF’s operation units (Coast Guard, Air Wing and Engineering Unit), as well as training in conflict resolution, communication, critical thinking and general life skills.
Upon completion of the programme, participants will be given an opportunity to continue as soldiers in the JDF or join other Government agencies.
The programme, which is targeting approximately 1,000 persons each year, is part of the Learn, Earn, Give back and Save (LEGS) Programme, which aims to assist young people who, by virtue of their circumstances, have become unattached.
The programme falls under the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) initiative, targeting job and training opportunities for unattached young people aged 19 to 24.