GLEANER: Education, Youth, and Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid has said that the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) is creating greater opportunities for youth through education and skills training while aligning them with the 21st-century jobmarket.
An initiative under the Ministry, CAP provides opportunities for students, aged 16 to 18, to gain valuable training and skills for the job market or to further their education.
In addition to the job-ready training, CAP also provides exposure to life-coping skills, personal development, civics, personal and national values, and the tenets of good citizenship.
CAP is offered at selected secondary schools, private skills-development centres, and public or private tertiary institutions islandwide.
"We are ensuring that all our children in Jamaica, all students who are now in secondary school, get enough time [and] equal opportunity to develop at the highest level," the minister said.
He was speaking at the inaugural CAP Region One award ceremony at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston last week.
"The CAP is equalising educational opportunities (as well as) taking everybody to the highest point because the traditional CAPE programme is also going to have an associate degree component, and the CAP is also going to have an associate degree component. So everybody can, at the end of your period at age 18, look and say, 'I have achieved my level at an associate degree'," Reid stated.
He said that the initiative is also providing them with the skills to navigate the global marketplace.
"I am very pleased with the development of this particular programme because I know what it is going to do for education - it is equalising educational opportunities [and] it is providing access," he said.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry Dean-Roy Bernard, explained that in the inaugural awards, some 480 students in 13 traditional high schools in Region One would benefit.
"Students now pursuing Level II technical vocational education and training courses in non-traditional areas and non-traditional schools will get a provisional acceptance letter for a space in a tertiary institution that is offering the occupational associate degree relating to their programme of study upon successful completion of Level II of the course of study in 2019," he said.
This, Bernard said, is a significant step in career forward planning, "and we continue to encourage our young people to make good use of this facility and opportunity".
"I hope the scholarship will enable you to fulfil your aspirations. Although the programme is available for all students, there are varying criteria at different institu-tions, and space may be limited as the programme expands," he said.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid