JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the National Youth Service (NYS), Melvin Smith, is hailing the various public and private sector entities that are supporting its youth employment programmes, which are providing valuable work experience and skills training for thousands of young people across the island.
  • Citing the Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP), launched in February 2013, he informed that 60 per cent of participants were placed in the private sector and 40 per cent in the public sector.
  • Mr. Smith said there is also strong support for the NYS’ annual Summer Programme, which places high school students in various entities for three weeks during the months of July and August.

Executive Director of the National Youth Service (NYS), Melvin Smith, is hailing the various public and private sector entities that are supporting its youth employment programmes, which are providing valuable work experience and skills training for thousands of young people across the island.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday (December 16), Mr. Smith said the collaboration with the entities has been a success.

Citing the Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP), launched in February 2013, he informed that 60 per cent of participants were placed in the private sector and 40 per cent in the public sector.

“There is one well-known corporation that took 25 of our GWEPs…and we have those kinds of partnership developing,” Mr. Smith noted.

The GWEP is geared towards providing college graduates with the necessary work experience to increase their chances of finding employment. It is open to graduates 17 to 24 years, who possess a first degree or an associate degree and who have minimal or no work experience in their area of study.

Mr. Smith said there is also strong support for the NYS’ annual Summer Programme, which places high school students in various entities for three weeks during the months of July and August.

He informed that a company in the hospitality industry “took on about 60 participants during last year’s Summer Programme and they doubled that this year.”

“So, we are developing those partnerships and they are growing and we are very pleased that the NYS is legitimising itself by the work we do and by the people we associate and partner with, and we are looking to just expand on that over the next three years,” he said.

Mr. Smith said the youth organisation also received support for its entrepreneurship competition, “The Pitch”. The initiative, held earlier this month, was the culmination of the NYS’ Entrepreneurship Programme in which participants were coached and engaged for six months in business planning and management activities.

“The funding we were able to hand over to the three winners came from three partners, the Development Bank of Jamaica…Jamaica Money Market Brokers and their foundation and we also got funds from the Caribbean Microfinance Forum. So, it is a broad portfolio of partners,” he informed.

Chair of the NYS Board of Directors, Maureen Webber, who also addressed the Think Tank, said the organisation is developing new products and services for the development of young people and will be seeking increased support from the public and private sector partners.

“I think that what we do at the NYS now…we are going to approach private sector firms and we are going to say, ‘We want to partner with you to do what you did last year,’ Ms. Webber said.

 

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