JIS News

The National Youth Service (NYS) will train 4, 200 young persons this fiscal year from a budget allocation of $707,368,000.
This is a reduction from the 5,879 young persons, who were trained during the 2007/08 fiscal year. A total of 5,312 participants were engaged in 2006/07.
As contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives on May 20 by Education Minister, Andrew Holness, an increase in the stipend from $4,800 to $6,400 per fortnight, and the effect of inflation on the cost of training, are the two major contributors to the decrease in the number of participants to be trained in this financial year.
The NYS seeks to modify the behaviour of young person in the 14-17 age group and to ensure that they are ready for the workforce and to prepare them to face life’s challenges.
For this year, the Agricultural Corps, which was implemented in 2006/07, intends to become a part of the campaign to ‘Eat What we Grow and Grow What we Eat’.
Since its introduction in 2006/07, the Tourism Corps has trained 593 young people. The corps was formed as a result of the need for skilled labour in this area. Also, the Early Childhood Corps has been further boosted with the pledge of $3 million by Digicel.
The National Health Fund (NHF) has also assisted the NYS in training 302 young people through the Health Corps in 2006/07. This partnership will be repeated for 2008/09, where 302 young people will be trained in social services and healthy lifestyle.
Under the partnership with the NHF, a number of participants were trained to become lay diabetes facilitators and they will be assisting in addressing the needs of diabetic patients island-wide.
In the meantime, 743 students have received behaviour modification intervention through the Success Programme, which offers a positive alternative to troubled students in the 13-17 age group. More than 900 students from 92 schools islandwide have been referred to the programme in the current financial year.
According to the Ministry Paper, the NYS was also faced with challenges during the 2007/08 period, in that, of the number of unattached youth, estimated at 200,000, the NYS could only offer training to 5,879. Also, the lack of suitable training sites island-wide resulted in the organization engaging participants in non-residential training rather than the preferred residential training.
During the summer, the NYS will be offering employment through its National Summer Employment Programme (NSEP) to approximately 5,200 students from secondary and tertiary institutions. This will be done with a budget of $55 million. Students will gain valuable work experience during the period and will receive a stipend to assist with their back-to-school expenses.
The NYS will also benefit from an agreement between the Governments of Jamaica and Korea for the provision of state-of-the-art computer laboratories at the Knox Cobbla Campus in Manchester and the Eco-Village in Chestervale, St. Andrew.
In addition, a computer lab will be established at the head office to offer training in computer repairs. The Korean government’s contribution to the establishment of the labs is approximately U$316,000.

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