The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) Programme have renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which should deepen their partnership, by facilitating additional provisions targeting young people from marginalized communities, deemed “at-risk”.
The new MoU was signed by CMI Executive Director, Dr. Fritz Pinnock, and YUTE Chairman, Joseph M. Matalon, at the institution’s campus at Palisadoes Park, Kingston, on April 24.
YUTE is a private sector coalition-led initiative, which commenced in December 2010, and facilitates young people desirous of pursuing training and certification, as well as employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Some 93 YUTE participants are currently enrolled at the CMI, the Caribbean’s Centre of Excellence for tertiary maritime, logistics and engineering training, and research and consultancy.
Outlining details of the new MoU, Mr. Matalon said it covers several areas of co-operation, expected to span the next two years. These include: sharing a database of unemployed persons in efforts to facilitate international certification and placement; apprenticeship placement facilitated by CMI for participants successfully completing the institution’s industrial security operations programme and automotive programme, as well as the top five successful participants from the welding programme.
Additionally, Mr. Matalon said the CMI and YUTE have agreed on the provision of five scholarships to the institution. The CMI, he informed, will cover 60 per cent of the costs, with the remaining sum to be paid either by the participant or through YUTE.
He further advised that 30 current participants are to be streamed into a bridging programme in the areas of engineering and logistics. This programme, he said, will span four semesters, covering two years.
“This MoU (seeks to) further expand the range of opportunities for young persons from vulnerable backgrounds to expand their knowledge of the various maritime disciplines, and promote the wider mandate of the YUTE programme, that is, building sustainable communities whose youth are economically and socially integrated into the wider society. I trust that the partnership between YUTE and the CMI will create opportunities for more youth to have themselves trained in preparation for work in an expanding maritime industry,” Mr. Matalon said.
Meanwhile, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, in welcoming the MoU’s renewal, commended YUTE for the partnership forged with the CMI, “in its thrust to mould young lives and enable social and economic development.”
The Minister also commended the CMI for their “sterling work” in providing and “taking Jamaica to the forefront of maritime and logistics as industry leaders”. He assured that “the Government stands ready to assist this institution,” in whatever way possible.
Welcoming the renewed partnership, Dr. Pinnock said the CMI is committed to the development of youth deemed at-risk.
“We believe we have a responsibility to (the young people of) this nation and we are transforming these youth, not to put them in low skilled jobs. Rather, we want to put them into high end jobs where they can transform their lives,” he said.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter