JIS News

Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba has challenged Jamaican youth to take full advantage of their education in order to better their career opportunities later in life.
Addressing students and other young persons at the launch of the National Centre for Youth Development’s Youth Entrepreneurship seminar on Tuesday (Nov. 4) at the University of Technology (UTech), Minister Assamba advised the gathering that “learning is never wasted”, and encouraged them to focus on their studies and seek out the long-term goal of becoming self-reliant.
Using her own life as an example, Minister Assamba told the young audience that despite coming from a modest background where her mother was a housewife with eight children and her father, a welder, it was the desire to learn and the aspiration to achieve that led to success in spite of the various odds she had to face. She encouraged the gathering to be ambitious and urged them to avoid becoming teenage parents, stressing, “don’t have children before you are financially and emotionally prepared.”
Also addressing the students, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd spoke of the various measures that have been implemented by the government to assist in the development of the country’s youth.
Minister Rhodd said that the opening of two Youth Information Centres, one of which was already operational in Portmore and another that was scheduled to open next week in St. Mary, formed part of the government’s plan to empower young people.
He said the Youth Information Centres were meant to provide young people with an outlet to “empower themselves with knowledge, skills, and youth counselling so they can self-actualize and improve their lives.”
On the matter of having a forum within which pertinent youth issues maybe raised, the Minister informed the gathering that it was crucial for “young people to be given a voice.”
As such, he said the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students and the National Secondary Students Council were both to be re-launched during the course of this month.
These youth-affiliated associations, Minister Rhodd said, afforded young persons the opportunity to be given a voice that “the government wanted to hear,” and allowed the government to identify the concerns of the nation’s youth.
“The Ministry is refocusing and redoubling its efforts to strengthen a number of areas to make young people more prepared,” he declared.
To that end, he said, “we are revamping the JAMAL programme and establishing a high school equivalency programme for young persons who for whatever reason did not finish their high school education. We want to give them a second chance.”
With November being celebrated as Youth Month, the National Centre for Youth Development will host a number of youth entrepreneurship seminars across the island, with the seminar at UTech on Tuesday, November 4, being the first of five seminars.
According to the NCYD, the aims of entrepreneurship seminars are geared towards addressing the issue of current youth employment and identifying specific strategies to boost employment for the young.
The youth entrepreneurship seminar at UTech exposed the participants to practical business knowledge of e-commerce, manufacturing and distribution, and agro-business. In addition, they also learnt such business essentials as marketing, business plans, loans and a synopsis of taxes.
The other four Youth Entrepreneurship Seminars are scheduled to be held on November 7 at Ascot Hall in Old Harbour, St. Catherine; November 10 at Seventh Day Adventist West Jamaica Conference Auditorium in Montego Bay; November 13 at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Port Maria; and November 19 at Golf View Hotel in Mandeville.The theme for Youth Month is “None But Ourselves Can”.

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