JIS News

The Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) will be expanded this year from 236,000 to approximately 252,000 persons, and a further $100 million injected into the programme.
In addition, students up to 17 years old will now be able to remain on the programme once they go on to sixth form. “We are giving an incentive for learning, while facilitating the learning process,” Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said yesterday (May 1), during her 2007/08 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives. “I am happy to say today, that this year’s budget makes provision for a PATH feeding programme, which will see students from PATH-assisted homes being provided with free lunches at school,” Mrs. Simpson Miller stated. Some 40,500 students will benefit under this programme.
“Another noteworthy development, is the fact that a Welfare-to-Work programme is being introduced this year. This programme will offer training, job matching and business development skills, to PATH beneficiaries who leave secondary schools with limited job prospects,” she informed.
The welfare-to-work programme will target persons with disabilities, as well as at-risk youth living in the rural areas and inner-cities and persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Meanwhile, the Rehabilitation Grant Programme has also been redesigned to increase its impact on the unemployed and underemployed. To this end, some $80 million has been provided in this year’s budget, with the expectation that more than 4,000 persons will benefit. The programme will be decentralized and become islandwide.

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