Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon Lisa Hanna, says that the Government will be offering skills training in key areas for youths, through partnerships with its agencies.
The Minister was speaking to Lower and Upper Sixth Form students at Kingston College, North Street, Kingston, during a visit on Thursday (January 19). It was part of the Ministry’s programme to get the views of young people, answer questions and engage in discussions and debate to find solutions and programmes that can impact youth development.
Miss Hanna said that Government will be placing greater emphasis on Information Communication Technology (ICT), agro- processing, tourism, culture and the creative industries, where there are job opportunities for youth.
“There is an integrated approach that we are taking, so places like NYS, HEART Trust NTA are now looking at those industries and placing greater emphasis on the components that will go into training persons like you,” she said.
She added that the belief that “nothing” is going on in Jamaica is not true, and suggested that persons change that way of thinking.
“How we are going to survive, is if we position ourselves in the global market place to compete,” she said.
The Minister urged the students to consider careers in areas that they could better contribute to the country.
“I would hope that as patriotic Jamaicans that you would look at the landscape of the country, identify the shortages that we have in terms of human resources, and what we need to increase the output and productivity of our human resources, and focus on those areas that you could better contribute,” she said.
President of the Kingston College Foreign Languages Club, Joel Nomdarkham, told JIS News that the session was informative and would help the students in their studies. However, he is hoping that the points raised will be included in policy decisions taken by the Minister.
“She promised, and I know that she will fulfill this in her role as the Minister of Youth and to manifest the plans that we gave her towards the development of youths within the country,” he said.
Another Upper Sixth Form student, Dusen Marshall, told JIS that the visit by the Minister was a very good. He said it was important for her to communicate with youths to get their views.
“It would be good, if the Minister could go to all the institutions – tertiary, high schools and primary schools – because the youths are the future,” he explained.
Accompanying the Minister on the visit was the Director, Youth, Policy and Programme Development, National Centre for Youth Development, Roberta Brown–Ellis.
By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Reporter