JIS News

The National Youth Service (NYS) programme has been reaping immense success in preparing youth for economic opportunities, said State Minister for Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd.
Dr. Rhodd, who was making his contribution to theSectoral Debate in Parliament yesterday (June 28) said this agency has been developing in young people, respect for authority, leadership, work ethic and a sense of general discipline. “The programme also promotes mutual respect and develops the values of democracy and responsible citizenship,” he said.
Since the re-introduction of the NYS in the mid 1990s, Dr. Rhodd said that more than 12,000 youth have been re-socialized and placed in organizations within the private and public sectors. “The programme is unlike any other in Jamaica and prides itself with a success rate of over 60 per cent of participants receiving permanent employment,” he noted.
He further explained that past participants of the NYS were two times more likely than the average youth to gain employment or to move on to tertiary studies. He however, expressed concern about the over 140,000 youth who were deemed as unattached and were therefore not affiliated with an organization, place of employment, or institution of training.
“These youth, in some instances, are inimical to peace, development and prosperity. We acknowledge that nothing less than a thorough and sustainable remediation and diversionary approach is needed to realign this cohort of youth to the productive sector,” he said.
With the current capacity for residential training at approximately 10,000 youth annually, Dr. Rhodd said the expansion of the NYS would present an opportunity for investment in facilities in central and western Jamaica to hold approximately 15,000 young people, which would be assigned to the expanded NYS. The new facilities would also be used as shelters in times of national disasters and could also be rented to organizations to host conventions and camps.