Scores of young people converged at Rose Duncan Park in Linstead, St Catherine, last Friday to get another shot at success.
Member of Parliament for St Catherine North West Robert Pickersgill, who is offering the opportunity, launched a training programme that targets ‘unattached’ constituents 17 to 30 years old.
He deemed the launch a success, adding that each participant in the programme will get a $500 stipend for each day they attend training.
“We had quite a few applicants on Friday; we can go up to about 200,” Pickersgill said.
Persons who missed the launch can still apply at Pickersgill’s office at 41 Fletchers Avenue in Linstead.
The parliamentarian told The Beacon that one of the major advantages of the programme is that persons will obtain certificates.
“A lot of Jamaicans are competent, but they are not certified. When they go through those courses, they will be certified; and that makes quite a difference,” Pickersgill declared.
He noted that the ultimate aim is to provide employment. “In the age group [targeted], the number one problem would be unemployment. The programme for instance is offering commercial driving [course]; and we can’t produce enough for the Canadian market.”
Meanwhile, the businessman who will replace Pickersgill as People’s National Party candidate in the St Catherine North West seat, Hugh Graham, implored young people to sign up.
“I would implore all persons between the age of 17 and 30 to be a part of the unattached youth programme where they will be able to learn a skill that they might never have thought of. It would be inspirational for them and drive them towards their dream of success,” he reasoned.
Graham noted that, for different reasons, the number of unattached youths in the constituency is relatively high. “There is a high level of unattached youth in North West St Catherine. Although not statistically proven, I believe the percentage is anywhere between 18-20.
“The reason for this is that persons have not matriculated or are not scholastically motivated to attend or graduate from school; they are more skills inclined. Secondly, there are not enough facilities to accommodate and train them in specific training areas,” added Graham.
He oozed confidence that the programme will address one of the biggest challenges in the constituency. “It will most certainly provide an answer and a solution to the cries of the youths as more than 90 percent of the requests in North West St Catherine are about jobs and earning money,” Graham posited.
Participants in the programme will be able to access training in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and various other courses in Lluidas Vale, Ewarton or Linstead.
The Level 2 courses being offered are: Fashion Design, Furniture Making and Carpentry, Early Childhood Education, Commercial Food Preparation, Allied Health (Patient Care), Cake Baking, Commercial Driving, Digital Animation, General Beauty Therapy, and Barbering.
Participants are required to have at least one of the following qualifications: HEART certification, one CXC subject, City and Guilds, HEART Trust Entrance Test, or 2 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams.
Applicants should also present the following: TRN, HEART application form, proof of qualifications or test scores, as well as a passport-size photograph. Classes will be held from Monday to Thursday each week.
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