A youth advisory council is to be set up, with the appointed members to meet with Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange on a quarterly basis, to review priority policies and programme geared at youth development.
Minister Grange, who made the announcement during her contribution to the 2010/11 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (February 2), said that the advisory council will explore means of strengthening youth advocacy networks, and fast-tracking the renewal of the National Youth Policy.
She said the government was committed to giving the youth an even greater say in national development, and that the decision to establish the council was taken following discussions with youth leaders and advocates.
Turning to the Possibility Programme, she said in the 2009/10 financial year, five of the boys enrolled in the programme sat the Grade Nine Achievement Test, and were placed in secondary institutions.
"We were able to obtain a number of apprenticeship placements as well with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Sherwin Williams, Nelson's Auto Repair and Services, and the LEAP Centre," she informed. Two young men were able to obtain full-time employment, and now live on their own.
Minister Grange noted the success of Dushane Brown, and Nicholas Scott, who won gold and bronze medals respectively, in the recent HEART Trust/NTA World Skills Competition.
The Possibility Programme seeks to improve the lives of boys, who live on the streets, as well as other at-risk boys.
It is a multi-agency programme administered by an independent board in partnership with public and private sector organisations including: St. Andrew Parish Church; St. Patrick's Foundation; YMCA; Rotary Club of St. Andrew; Jamaica Constabulary Force; National Council on Drug Abuse; HEART Trust/NTA; and Kingston Restoration Company.
CONTACT: ALPHEA SAUNDERS