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  • Forty-five at-risk youth are to benefit from an internship, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), Phase III and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS Co.).
  • Forty-five at-risk youth are to benefit from an internship, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), Phase III and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS Co.).
  • The general objective of CSJP III is to enhance citizen security and justice in 50 volatile and vulnerable communities across eight parishes.

Forty-five at-risk youth are to benefit from an internship, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), Phase III and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS Co.).

Fifteen of the 45 young men will be trained in linesman work over a three-month period, while the remaining 30 will be trained within various divisions of the utility company for six months, beginning in June. The MoU is valued at $8.7 million.

Through the internship programme JPS Co. is developing the pool of line skills in the Jamaican labour market and creating an array of certified apprentice linesmen for the company and its third party contractors.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, held on May 26 at the JPS Co. head office in Kingston, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., lauded the company for undertaking such a bold partnership for a second time.

“This goes well for the company’s corporate and social responsibility, for economic development and support for social intervention programmes in our country,” Mr. Charles said.

The State Minister noted that the collaboration will provide a continued opportunity for JPS Co. to identify talent from amongst at-risk and marginalized individuals, and further the organization’s effort to bring vulnerable communities into their reach.

He said this type of partnership that provides opportunities for at-risk youth, who have been groomed by the CSJP, sends a message that “it is okay to extend an employment opportunity to inner city youth.”

He also used the opportunity to remind the interns of the important role they must play as nation builders.

Meanwhile, Programme beneficiary, Michael Francis, said that he learned about CSJP at a critical time in his life, in 2011, when he was desperate.

“I was at risk of becoming a victim of idleness in the community that I lived and that could eventually lead to a life of crime and violence if CSJP had not intervened,” he said.

Mr. Francis encouraged his fellow interns to start the journey with CSJP and JPS Co. with a purpose and to be ready for learning. He also urged them to soar to higher heights.

Through his engagement with CSJP,  he has obtained a level two certificate in electrical/electronic maintenance, a level three diploma in industrial electrical maintenance, a certificate of participation in 46 weeks of internship with the JDF and a certificate of participation in the Jamaica 50 Celebrations.

“These accreditations have helped me to become more marketable, productive and have continually pushed me to become better at my new skills developed in training,” he shared.

Mr. Francis’ life has been completely transformed. He is the Secretary for Fathers United for Change Limited, a community based organization (CBO) in Trench Town, which reaches out to at-risk males. The CBO empowers the males to become better role models and fathers.

The CSJP – JPS Co interns are from the communities of Parade Gardens, Majesty Gardens, Mountain View, McGregor Gardens, Homestead, Rockfort, De La Vega City, Green Dale Cluster, Waterhouse, Denham Town and Trench Town.

In 2014, the JPS Co. signed a similar MoU with CSJP and provided on-the-job training for 20 youngsters who were previously engaged in training at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

           To date, a total of seven persons have secured employment,  four with the JPS Co. and three with Guardsman Group Ltd. as technicians who provide services to JPS Co. Eight youngsters have secured employment with other private entities, while the remaining five who remained unemployed will be engaged in  the Apprenticeship Linesman Training.

President and Chief Executive Officer of JPS Co., Kelly Tomblin, said she is delighted that the programme has taken on another phase.

           “Nothing is more important than the youth of this country for long term prosperity. This programme represents hope,” she said.

The general objective of CSJP III is to enhance citizen security and justice in 50 volatile and vulnerable communities across eight parishes.  This is done through initiatives that seek to improve behaviours for non-violent conflict resolution in target communities; increase labour market attachment among youth; and increase access to effective community and alternative justice services.

The CSJP is funded by the Government of Jamaica, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Britain’s Department for International Development, and Global Affairs Canada formerly Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) of Canada.

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