JIS News

Hundreds of graduates of the National Youth Service’s (NYS) Business Administration course will begin the work experience aspect of the programme on Monday (March 5).

The graduates, who completed four weeks of orientation, will be placed in several Government organisations, for a period of one year.

Some 430 persons have been trained islandwide, with simultaneous graduations taking place in each parish capital on Friday (March 2). Kingston had 103 graduates.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the Hope United Church in Kingston, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, encouraged the graduates  to be punctual and to complete their tasks on time and implored them to go the extra mile to get the job done, if necessary.

She reminded them that as NYS graduates, they are representing the Ministry Youth and Culture  and should at all times “exhibit an air of pro-activity…you are not going into work only prepared to  sit back and wait until someone hands you something to do”.

“At all times you want show that you are interested in learning, that you are interested in the other parts of the organisation…go in there with drive, go in there with enthusiasm, go in there with knowledge,” she emphasised.

She also advised against participating in gossip; not to break the rules of the institution; to ensure that they are appropriately attired for work; and to carry themselves with an air of confidence and professionalism.

“Those of you who have come through the NYS, we hold to a high standard to set examples to build the (reputation of the) NYS,” the Minister added, noting that she would be checking in on the graduates’ progress.

Acting Executive Director of the NYS, Simone Parkin, told JIS News that the orientation included two weeks of personal development training, and two weeks of a technical curriculum in business administration, which focused on customer service, using the computer and a number of other courses to prepare them for work experience.

“During that (one-year) period we are going to assess them through the Heart Trust/NTA where they will receive a level two certificate in business administration. Additionally, they will receive an NYS personal development certificate mapping the courses that they’ll be doing, because…during their work placement, they will come for two days every month for a workshop where they’ll  continue their personal development training and their technical training which will lead up to their certification,” she explained.

Mrs. Parkin said the NYS is keen on not only emphasising academics, but skills training and certification as well, “because no matter where you go globally, you have to demonstrate that you are competent. That’s why we’ve taken on the initiative to ensure that every single participant who comes into the NYS programme is certified”.

“I believe what we have seen here today is a show of the potential that young persons have (to perform)…and we have to invest in that potential…(as it is) these young people who will be the leaders of this country in the next 18 years,” she added.

In the meantime, Mrs. Parkin noted that while the NYS pays a stipend to programme participants to cover lunch and transportation costs, “we encourage the organisations, where they can assist with lunch and assist with topping up the stipend, for them to do so”.


By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter