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Youth development and empowerment is being given special attention in the 2009/2010 budget, with a total of $186.3 million allocated to these programmes.
The Youth Development Programme (YDP) will spend $104 million; the Youth Empowerment and Participation Programme, $11 million; and, the Youth Empowerment and Information Centre Establishment project, $71.3 million.
The establishment of Youth Information Centres is a main focus this year, with centres slated for St. Catherine, Clarendon, St. Ann, St. Elizabeth, St. James and St. Thomas.
Under the Youth Empowerment and Information Centre Establishment project, centres have already been established in Westmoreland and Manchester, and one in St. James under the Youth Empowerment and Participation Programme.
The Youth Development Programme, which started last December, will be responsible for establishing centres in Spanish Town, St. Catherine and May Pen, Clarendon this year. This programme is funded, jointly, by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The main objective is to facilitate the transition of unattached youth to adulthood and the world of work, through training, on the job experience, information dissemination, labour intermediation services and improved sector management.
This year the targets include; a national youth Survey; review of the National Youth Policy; creation of a website for the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD); development and implementation of post-graduate qualification in youth development work; and monitoring and evaluation framework.
The Youth Empowerment and Information Centre Establishment project, funded by the Korean International Corporation Agency, aims at encouraging participation in positive social activities and improving the human resource capacity of youth in the labour market.
The Youth Empowerment and Participation Programme aims at increasing youth access to quality information, skills and services to reduce the risk of HIV infection. It is funded by the United Nations’ International Children’s Educational Fund.

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