JIS News

Jamaica’s youth are being encouraged to constantly upgrade their skills and qualifications in order to keep abreast of the changing pace of the world economy.
“Keep upgrading yourself to keep up with changing economies and look at each qualification as a means to an end,” Robert Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of the HEART Trust/NTA implored a gathering of Youth Leaders at the Annual Leaders Conference of the Police Youth Club (PYC), which was held the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, yesterday (Sept. 23).
Addressing the conference on the theme ‘Choosing a career in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)’, Mr. Gregory charged the young leaders to take on the armour of life long learning as they ventured into their various career paths.
“Life long learning is the only way to stay current. Periodically check the currency of your qualifications and marketability. The market is always changing,” he urged.
Continuing Mr. Gregory called on young people to take a proactive approach in seeking employment. “Be masters of your own destinies by taking on a pro active approach which includes looking at entrepreneurial ventures. Ensure you take advantage of your opportunities,” he emphasized.
In addition the CEO called on Jamaicans who were unable to get qualified at the secondary school level to seek programmes, which would help them to achieve at least minimum basic qualifications.
In this respect Mr. Gregory revealed that the HEART/Trust would be undertaking a High School Equivalency Programme to qualify adults who were unable to gain secondary school qualifications.
“Gone are the days of cheap labour. We are in age now that seeks to acquire investments that require an educated workforce,” Mr. Gregory noted.
The Police Youth Club is celebrating more than 50 years of operation boosting a membership of approximately 7,000 with some 209 active clubs. There are approximately 455 registered clubs across the island.
Meanwhile Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Kern Spencer called on the youth leaders to encourage fellow Club members to become qualified so they can make use of the opportunities that the CSME would present. ” The real solution to the country’s unemployment and crime problems lay in finding opportunities for the youth and being qualified is key to taking advantage of these opportunities,” he urged.
He also noted that the Clubs would have to look at doing some serious fund raising events in order to acquire funds. “We are going to have to go on serious fund raising ventures to acquire funds for the clubs. We’ll have to go to the private sector, who recently committed themselves to fighting the country’s crime problem, to attract some of the necessary funds’ he explained.
The club’s leaders participated in workshops to discuss several issues including, the ‘CSME and its impact on youth development’, ‘Career Choices’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’.