JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, says that over 2,000 young persons have expressed interest in the Ministry’s Special Youth Employment and Training programme (SYEAT).
According to Mr. Charles, 2,451 applications have been received and processed. He was opening the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 23.
Mr. Charles said that approximately 1,000 persons have been trained in numeracy, literacy and employability skills, and about 200 persons have been placed with 40 companies involved in hospitality, manufacturing, construction and automotive industries.
“On the successful completion of training, participants are awarded certification in at least one skill area by HEART, which will position them to compete in the local and overseas job market,” he said.
The SYEAT was launched in October last year. The programme targets youngsters 18 to 25 years old, who are considered at risk and unattached. The initiative represents a strategy to further the national policy of human resource development, where young workers are integrated into the labour market through apprenticeship arrangements.
A unique feature is that work experience is linked to academic learning and career guidance, as well as other life skill measures. It utilises a cost-sharing approach, where employers provide on-the-job training and trainees are paid a stipend no less than the National Minimum Wage.
It is aimed at providing decent and productive work for 10,000 persons over the next four years.
Agencies partnering with the Ministry in the implementation of this programme include HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) and the Incorporated Master Builders’ Association.
This year’s budget includes $37 million to fund the programme.

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