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Hundreds of young people are to be trained and provided with job opportunities over the next four months, Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna has announced.

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"We have trained and will continue to train over 800 people and place them in job opportunities over the course of the next three to four months," Miss Hanna said, while addressing a ceremony to launch Youth Month 2012 on Thursday at St. William Grant Park, downtown Kingston.

These prospects, she said, will be facilitated under the National Youth Service (NYS), which placed close to 3,700 young persons in summer jobs this year, and the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD).

The Minister noted that during Youth Month, 150 young people are to be provided with job opportunities, while under the NCYD, “we will be training close to 500 persons in entrepreneurship and giving them grants to start their own businesses”.

Miss Hanna said the Ministry is “really pushing youth for entrepreneurship and empowerment because we recognise that many of you want opportunities."

“You might not get the job opportunity right away in Youth Month, but you will get some training. If you don’t get the training, you can attend a rap session that will make you meet people, who can put you in the right position,” she said.

Youth Month is being celebrated under the theme: ‘Youth on a Mission’. The month-long celebrations provides young people with the opportunity to take part in national events, which improve their self-esteem, expose them to positive role models and encourage healthy lifestyles.

The 2012 celebration of Youth Month is recognised as part of Jamaica 50 celebrations, and will seek to promote the participation of youth as “architects in national development”.