JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Shorter programmes would be developed to redirect young persons to self-employment
  • Certification would be part of the programme, through HEART Trust/NTA

Executive Director of the National Youth Service (NYS), Melvin Smith, says the agency is in the process of examining all its programmes, with a view to making them more responsive to industry needs, and assisting young people with developing entrepreneurial skills.

“There are not many jobs out there that they can have when they graduate from our programmes, even with the skills that they would have earned, so we have to think of other opportunities and one such opportunity is to look at entrepreneurial development,” he said.

Mr. Smith told JIS News that shorter programmes would be developed for particular areas, with a view to redirecting young persons to self-employment.  For example, he said in the tourist areas, the programmes would focus on entrepreneurial training that support hotel and tourist businesses.

Previously, he said, NYS programmes were developed and rolled out in every parish, without careful consideration of the specialities of that parish. “We will go after those specialities in our entrepreneurial development aspect of our programming,” he informed.

“Right now we are trying to figure out the three or more entrepreneurial areas in which to develop our participants, with a slant on regions, industries and other sectors such as tourism and agriculture,” he said, adding that the programmes will be done in partnership with private and public sector entities.

“We have had initial discussions with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) because the agency implements all kinds of projects, some with international funding. So, we want to partner with them as well as the 4-H Club movement, to see what they are doing in their local areas,” Mr. Smith added.

The Executive Director pointed out that certification would be part of the programme, through HEART Trust/NTA, which normally partners with them to develop curricula and testing mechanisms for Level II HEART certificates.