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  • Young people in urban and rural communities across the island are to benefit from valuable training and work experience aimed at strengthening their opportunities for employment.
  • This will be facilitated under three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed by the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) with three private sector entities on Thursday (Aug.15) at the Terra Nova Hotel in St. Andrew.
  • The entities are Jamaica Producers Group, Bureau of Standards Jamaica and GraceKennedy Limited.

Young people in urban and rural communities across the island are to benefit from valuable training and work experience aimed at strengthening their opportunities for employment.

This will be facilitated under three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed by the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) with three private sector entities on Thursday (Aug.15) at the Terra Nova Hotel in St. Andrew.

The entities are Jamaica Producers Group, Bureau of Standards Jamaica and GraceKennedy Limited.

The initiative is part of the Advance Programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and FHI360.

Under the programme, community colleges will benefit from support to offer two to three-year technical degree programmes to disadvantaged youth as a viable path towards employment.

Areas of training include agri-business, the creative industries, and health and tourism wellness.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr, welcomed the collaboration among the partners.

He noted that the opportunities presented by the signing of the agreements will not only enable numerous disadvantaged Jamaican youth to access higher education but also training in the workplace.

“The signing of the MoUs really represents the strategic collaboration between all of the stakeholders. From here, what (the community colleges) are supposed to be doing is going through the interviews based on those students, who have applied to identify persons who are going to be selected to advance towards the associates and bachelors [degree] programmes that they are offering in the specific categories,” he noted.

The Advantage Programme is also benefiting young people in Honduras and Guatemala.

For the purpose of the programme, disadvantaged youth refers to those populations in both rural and urban areas, youth living in communities with high crime or violence, indigenous people and those marginalised due to ethnicity, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

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