Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, has called on young people to turn away from illegal activities and use their skills for production and wealth creation.
Speaking at the Granville Crime Prevention Summit, held at the Sunset Beach and Spa in Montego Bay, on January 31, Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said she will be spearheading a move to have navigation skills taught to young people in the parish by the Caribbean Maritime Institute, as the skills are in high demand globally.
The State Minister, who is also Member of Parliament for West Central St. James, also called on the young people to make full use of opportunities in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, in Montego Bay.
“There is a great demand in the world for persons who can work in these areas. We have a vision to build up the young people in Montego Bay, and I am rolling out an entrepreneurial programme next month, and the idea is to give persons the skills to start a business, and also to give them a start,” Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams said.
“We don’t have a lot of money, but we have a big vision, and with that vision many persons can come on board. In terms of ICT, there is a whole area there for young people; the problem is in the scamming. We have to rid our communities of scamming, because it is draining our economy. We don’t want that image, so we want to steer the young people away from illegal activities to very productive means,” she added.
She told the gathering that countries have recognized the skills of Jamaicans and are seeking to employ them, so it is important that the country’s image be protected, and that the actions of the minority do not destroy and stifle the progress of the majority of persons who are honest and hardworking.
“Canada and many other countries are asking for our truck drivers and others, because Jamaicans are very skilled, so we want to turn that ability around from negative to positive, from illegal to legal activities that can result in production and wealth creation,” the State Minister said.