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A new dimension is being added to the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), to identify and assist working age persons in beneficiary households.
Making the announcement in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 9), Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles said the new initiative, ‘Step to Work’, will enable persons to become more employable, and to obtain and retain employment.
“The Ministry will provide counselling, job readiness skills, remedial education, skills training, financial support for micro businesses and job placement. The government wants to help those who are willing to help themselves, to get on a programme of sustainable social and economic development,” he told the Lower House.
This initiative is being supported by a number of agencies, including the HEART Trust/NTA, the National Youth Service, Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning, and the Jamaica Business Development Centre.
Step to Work is currently being piloted in the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, Manchester, Clarendon, and St. James for two years, targeting 8,700 working age members of PATH households.
“We believe that if you teach a man to fish, he will be better positioned to earn and support his family on a sustained basis. Through Step to Work, we will be moving people from a state of dependence. We will be opening the doors of opportunity to them, thereby ensuring that the vulnerable among us will make the transition out of poverty,” the Minister said.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to Members of Parliament to submit the names of persons in their constituencies, who they consider eligible for assistance under PATH, to the Ministry.