MANDEVILLE — Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, says the Government is committed to the development of human capital through education and training.
He said economic advancement can only be achieved if citizens are offered the opportunity to access training, including basic literacy and numeracy skills, so that they can become financially independent and care for their households.
“Ensuring that all our people are able to read, write and calculate at the appropriate level is a key priority for this administration and we are determined to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes at all levels,” he stated.
Minister Charles was speaking on April 26 at a graduation ceremony for 23 adults, who participated in a literacy intervention project under the Step-to-Work programme, held on at the Thompson Town Baptist Church in Clarendon.
Step-to-Work is designed to meet the needs of approximately 5,000 working-age clients, who are beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), providing them with opportunities for training, entrepreneurship and employment to become independent of PATH.
“We are proud to provide a platform for these members of PATH households to have a second chance at accessing and completing quality basic education. Today, the choice has been made and you are in a better position to take advantage of other opportunities,” Minister Charles said.
He implored the graduates to build on the knowledge gained during the six weeks of training, to improve their financial situation.
“This initiative is one step towards… taking you into the world of work, and ultimately, make you independent. Being part of low-income families doesn’t mean lifetime poverty. We are confident that you can reap good rewards if you are determined to work hard. As we think long-term, we must create an environment in which fewer persons will have to depend on the state,” he stated.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS REGIONAL OFFICE