The Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP) has been transferred to the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture as Government moves to ensure that the programme more adequately meets the needs of the country’s young people.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the announcement on Wednesday November 24 at the opening of the Yute X 2010 Conference put on by the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
The transfer of YEP from the Office of the Prime Minister to the Youth portfolio of the Ministry, is among the recommendations made by the Public Sector Transformation Unit for the re-organisation of the public sector.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (left) enjoys a performance from the Ashe group, at on November 24 opening of the Yute X 2010 Conference at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. Others (from second left) are: Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Karen Hilliard; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative, Robert Fuderich; and World and Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser.
“This programme is designed to provide you with funds,” Miss Grange told the young people gathered for the conference. “You leave high school and you want to start a little project and you need money to get your project going, the funds have now been transferred to the Ministry and you will be able to access those funds,” she explained further.
Miss Grange also informed of the availability of $19 million for young entrepreneurs through the Jamaica Youth Business Trust.
The biennial conference is being held over three days under the theme ‘Fullticipate to Elevate: Enhancing Development through Youth Participation’.
It is part of the International Year of the Youth and Jamaica’s Youth Month activities and is being held in collaboration with the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) and Ashe Performing Arts Company.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (left), and Mission Director for the United states Agency for International Development, Dr. Karen Hilliard (second left), appear amused by one of the presentations at the opening of the Yute X 2010 Conference, put on by the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN), on November 24 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. Seated beside them are (L-R) United Nations Children’s Fund Representative, Robert Fuderich; and Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser; and Historian Professor Verene Shepherd.
Olympic and World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser is the patron of Yute X and officially opened the conference by encouraging those present to use the occasion to speak out on the issues affecting them and explore solutions to the challenges.
“I hope that over the next three days your discussions will be heard, not only by persons sitting here, but persons that have the ability to bring about change,” she stated.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Jamaica, Robert Fuderich, said Yute X was a good example of youth participation, noting that it is “organised by youths for youths”.
Meanwhile, Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Karen Hilliard, said the conference provides an opportunity for young people to take a positive approach to youth development rather than dwell on the challenges.
Approximately 200 young people from across the island are expected to participate over the three days, during which issues such as crime and violence, youth sexuality, governance and youth advocacy will be discussed.