Seven young professionals have been selected as the second cohort for the Jamaica House Fellowship Programme and will serve in the public sector for a two-year period in various capacities.
They are Asha-Gaye Cowell, Christopher Harper, Jervian Johnson, Anabelle Jones, Kiddist McCoy, Mikol Mortley, and Christal Parris-Campbell.
Speaking at the orientation session for the new Fellows on November 11, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, hailed the awardees, who were selected following a rigorous process that started with 87 individuals.
Mr. Holness said the initiative aims to attract young and talented persons to the public sector who will assist in implementing the programmes, projects and plans of the Government.
“It is important that we create a pathway that will see young, vibrant, bright talent coming into the public service, bringing with them a different perspective and outlook, but at the same time being engaged in a process that will ensure that they develop, more than anything else, the respect for the public service,” the Prime Minister said.
The orientation session was held at Jamaica House.
Mr. Holness argued that the initiative is an investment “in trying to create the different thinking and mindset in the next generation of public servants who will emerge”.
The Prime Minister said the Fellows will also assist in re-engineering the processes to make the public sector more efficient.
“What we are interested in is creating ‘INtrepreneurs’.We want you to come into the organisation, understand the rules, respect the history and tradition, but at the same time, figure out how we can look towards improving those rules, re-engineering those processes to become more efficient,” he said.
He urged the young Jamaicans to honour the investment made in them by their country and to do their best during the two-year fellowship period.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of the recipients, Mr. Harper said they are committed to supporting the Government of Jamaica and are ready to work, serve and make a difference to national development.
“As Jamaica House Fellows we are now a part of a legacy of civil servants who have a clear desire to effectively and efficiently support the work of the Government of Jamaica. It is certainly an honour to serve within this capacity,” he said.
The Fellows will meet on a regular basis, create reports to be reviewed and will have personal interaction with the Prime Minister, the Portfolio Ministers and senior personnel in government.
They will be required to achieve key performance indicators on special projects to which they will be assigned.
The Jamaica House Fellowship programme has the strategic objective of encouraging the practical involvement of young people in the governance and policy decision-making processes at the highest levels of government.
It offers exceptionally talented and motivated young Jamaicans the opportunity to work on, support and implement high-priority initiatives and objectives. The Fellowship programme will run for two years for each cohort.
The programme is the brainchild of Prime Minister Holness, who wanted to give an opportunity to young professionals to participate in national development and governance at the highest policy level.