Labour Ministry Forges Ahead with Youth Employment/Training Project


Amidst the global economic challenge and fear of job losses, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is continuing its $47 million Special Youth Employment and Training project (SYEAT).
Approximately 500 young persons will be trained under the SYEAT project in collaboration with the Institute for Workforce Education and Development (IWED) a subsidiary of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited (MMS).
Minister of State for Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore, during the launch of the IWED/SYEAT partnership at MMS on January 14, outlined that irrespective of the economic crisis the Government is taking steps to mitigate the effects.
“We have seen leaders across the world trying to find ways to bolster consumer confidence to save and create jobs. The Government of Jamaica recognises its role and its responsibility and is taking steps to cushion the effects of this economic pressure that the world is going through,” he stressed.
Continuing, the Minister said that the partnership created by IWED and SYEAT is timely, as the persons who are most affected are the vulnerable in the 18-25 age group.
Admitting that the Ministry needs to be proactive, the State Minister revealed that the Government is now engaged in dialogue with its partners about training.
“At the Ministry we are currently engaged in meaningful dialogue on issues such as training, re-tooling of our productive sector, and the redeployment of skilled workers. These are not normal times and all the opportunities that have alluded us in the past, we have to make sure that we grasp them now, because there is no more room for mistakes,” he emphasised, adding that there is no room for unskilled labourers.
“It is time now for us to ensure that we eradicate unskilled labour from our midst. We must ensure that we pay keen attention to the growth and development of human resources. If we are to compete effectively we must give emphasis to education and training and that every Jamaican worker is not only properly trained but certified. We must also ensure that for our young people to take their rightful places at home and abroad they must be the best skilled workers,” he stressed.
The Special Youth Employment and Training project (SYEAT), was launched on October 22, 2008.
It is the first of three initiatives proposed by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, during his 2008/09 Sectoral Presentation. The project is an initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the HEART Trust/NTA and the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), and now Institute for Workforce Education and Development (IWED). The programme, which is expected to train approximately 10,000 youths between the ages 18-25 over a four year period, 2500 per year, recruited 3,000 persons last year.

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