Ten (10) of the twenty-two (22) HOPE Interns assigned to the Ministry of Justice under the Government of Jamaica’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme will no longer be considered “unattached youth”, as they have been offered permanent positions of employment by the Ministry of Justice.
Speaking at a Press Briefing held at the Ministry’s headquarters on October 11, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice Mrs. Carol Palmer highlighted the Ministry’s efforts to sustain the HOPE of the young people assigned to the Ministry, as the Ministry remains committed to extending the mentorship and development of its assigned Interns beyond the internship period which would have ended in October.
During the Second Quarter of this Fiscal Year, all 22 interns were consulted individually to discuss their goals and their needs. Ten (10) of the interns who have the required qualifications will be employed to entry level positions at the Ministry of Justice. Those interns without qualifications will continue their internship and will be provided with the necessary support to gain qualifications which will assist them in gaining meaningful employment.
In a bid to expose the interns to educational and other training opportunities, the Ministry organized a tour of some institutions including the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) and the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), and is currently discussing a partnership with UCC for all interns to be enrolled either in the Diploma Programme or Degree Programme. The interns will also be engaged in sensitization sessions on Human Trafficking, Restorative Justice, family planning and drug abuse before the Programme comes to an end.
The Ministry originally received 28 interns, but six interns have since left the Programme for various reasons, including one intern who left to pursue a Law Degree at the University of the West Indies. PS Palmer revealed that this intern is receiving support from the Ministry for his personal welfare, and that the Ministry will continue to seek out ways to see him through to the completion of his degree.
The HOPE Programme was launched by Prime Minister The Hon. Andrew Holness in May 2017 with the aim of providing an avenue for the development of fully rounded young persons in the 18-24 age group who were not engaged meaningfully, not in school, employed or in training, but simply existing and often described as unattached or at risk.