Tuition fees, easier access to student loans, employment opportunities, and ways to contribute to the development of their communities were among topics discussed by more than 100 tertiary level students from Western St. Mary, with some Government Ministers at a rap session, held at Marley Beach, in St. Mary, on August 15.
The event was organised by Minister of State for Local Government in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, Hon. Robert Montague. It was held to allow the students to highlight their concerns, and to facilitate discussion with some Ministers about ways to addresses these issues.
Participating were: Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry; Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang; Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson.
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, speaking to students at a rap session, held at Marley Beach, in St. Mary, on Sunday, August 15.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Montague said the event was also held to reward the young professionals for their achievement, and to give them the opportunity to exchange ideas with the Ministers in a relaxed atmosphere.
Citing his involvement with the tertiary level students through his Tertiary Education Sponsorship Programme, Mr. Montague said last year, a total of 75 persons received benefits under that programme, and this year, an additional 100 persons will be assisted.
Reminding the students that they are the future of the country, he urged them to make the best use of all the opportunities that are currently available to them.
Meanwhile, Minister Henry said the number of persons registering for training at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), has increased from 150 to 800 this year, adding that 100 per cent of the graduates from that institution were placed in jobs last year.
He said there is an arrangement with Singapore, to accept 1,000 graduates per year from the Aerospace College that was opened in Jamaica last year, and which provides training in areas such as: operating logistic centres, servicing and operating aeroplanes, and serving on shipping vessels.
Additionally, Mr. Henry said the cruise line industry has joined with the CMI to train persons for employment in the cruise shipping industry. “As young people, you must begin to extend yourselves beyond where you are,” he told the students.
The Minister urged them to focus on careers in those areas, noting that these are high paying jobs with great potential.
Mr. Henry congratulated Mr. Montague for organising the session with the students.