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Unattached Youth Programme to Be Absorbed Under Hope – 12,600 to Be Engaged


JIS: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that the National Unattached Youth Programme will now be absorbed under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) project, targeting a total of 12,600 youth across Jamaica in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.


Making his contribution to the 2018/2019 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 20), Mr. Holness said the move will double the number of young people engaged.


“We will engage 200 per constituency, targeting a total of 12,600 young people to be now attached and contributing to the productivity of our nation,” he noted.


Also under HOPE, 500 young people will be placed at the Ministry of Health in the Vector Control Corps and Medical Assistant Corps and 6,000 placed across ministries, departments and agencies in the Documentation and Digitisation Corps in keeping with the policy of digitising government.


In addition, 1,000 interns will be placed at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries as part of the Verification and Audit Corps, to conduct surveys and registration and to ensure the accuracy of the farmer and agriculture database; and over 1,000 young people will be deployed in the Hospitality Service Corps and the Transportation Cadet Corps across various projects.


“All ministries are on board and budgetary allocations made accordingly to ensure that adequate funding is in place. In addition, HOPE has secured $60 million through the Development Bank of Jamaica to increase training and placement islandwide,” Mr. Holness said.


He noted, further, that the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) has benefited from more than $28 million from the CHASE Fund to digitise its archives, which contain video footage, photographs and audio files compiled over decades.


This project will employ persons from the HOPE programme, who will be trained in media archive management skills and intellectual property management.


“The exposure given to young people under the HOPE project allows them to build life skills and the positive attitudes of good citizens. We want to maximise the potential of all our young people and provide opportunities for them to self-actualise,” Mr. Holness said.


He added, “It is the intention of the Government to provide more opportunities to set our young people on the path to achieving prosperity. Now, more than ever, more unattached youth are being engaged in meaningful ways and increasing their productivity.”


HOPE is the flagship social intervention and support programme of the Government.


It focuses on targeted assistance with housing, education, training and economic opportunities, support for persons in productive activities in communities and engagement towards sustained employment.


A critical strategy of the HOPE programme is the engagement of unattached youth through a system of apprenticeship and national service called LEGS, which involves learning and earning while giving service and saving.


CAPTION: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (at podium), emphasises a point while making his contribution to the 2018 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 20). Pictured in the background, is the Prime Minister’s wife and Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness.