JIS News

The National Youth Service (NYS) 2008 summer employment programme in the parishes of St. James and Hanover began on July 7, with 357 students from various schools being placed in working environments for the next three weeks.
The second phase of the programme will begin on August 4, when another 123 students from both parishes will be given similar opportunities.
Now in its seventh year, the programme is aimed at assisting needy students to earn an income during the summer holidays, which should assist in their back-to-school preparations.
Corporate Services Manager with the NYS in Western Jamaica, Omar Steer, told JIS News that over 1,200 applications were received for participation in this year’s programme, adding that because of budgetary constraints, only 480 students from the two parishes would benefit.
“The participants will be working over a period of three weeks. We have placement sites from basically the two sectors within our corporate society, the private and public sectors,” he pointed out.
“We were very impressed with the response of the private sector this year, it’s a notch up from last year. Quite a number of private sector organizations did open their doors to the participants,” he said. Regarding remuneration to the students, Mr. Steer explained that the students who are fourth and fifth formers would be paid $3,000 per week, with sixth formers and tertiary students receiving $3,500 per week. National Youth Service officers do regular monitoring of the students at the work sites during their period of employment.
“We have quite a number of repeat participants. I can safely say that approximately 20 per cent of the participants are repeat participants each year. They normally say that the programme is a very good one and is of great help to them,” he said.
Describing the programme as very successful, Mr. Steer expressed the hope that the private sector would get more involved in the programme, and assist with increased funding, which would facilitate the employment of additional students.
He stressed the importance of the work experience that the students acquire over the period, noting that it goes hand in hand with their education to make them rounded individuals.

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