JIS: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging young people to focus on acquiring a skill in order to become more employable.
Mr. Green, who was speaking at a Youth Enrichment Programme consultation on crime and violence at the Sea Gardens Hotel in Montego Bay on Thursday (June 21), said that persons need to equip themselves for opportunities that now exist and those that will emerge as technology advances.
“I know sometimes our parents are trying to push us in various directions… (but) the jobs that they believe are the ones that are making money now, that’s not so. Those days are gone. What they need to say to their young people (is) focus on the skills areas because as we are going into what is called the fourth industrial revolution it is the skills that are important,” he outlined.
He noted that the Ministry is training 15,000 people over the next three years to take up jobs in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector which, he noted, offers many opportunities.
“The demand is extremely great, but it is not just that, I don’t want you to focus on (BPO) as a second chance because it is not. Those are the areas that make real money and it’s not just now,” he said.
Mr. Green noted that the Government is making strides in preparing young people for the job market, evidenced by the eight per cent decrease in unemployment among youth.
“We are now at 25 per cent of our young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old who are unemployed, that’s a lot because two years ago …we were at 33 per cent of our young people who were unemployed,” he pointed out.
The Education State Minister, in the meanwhile, commended Custos of St. James, Bishop the Hon. Conrad Pitkin, for initiating the Youth Enrichment Programme throughout the parish.
“I realise that you have hit the ground running and I am happy that you have decided to place your focus on the youth. It is important that we have leadership at every level and I believe that Justices of the Peace (JPs), persons who act as Custodes, they have an extremely important job to play in touching and connecting with our young people and you are leading that charge,” he said.
The Youth Enrichment Programme, launched by the Custos, seeks to engage youth between the ages of 17 and 35. It involves collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and the Ministry of National Security
The programme is aimed at removing the stigma associated with youth within inner-city communities, providing an opportunity for them to gain a skill, employment or to continue their education, and to address the social ills perpetuating crime in the west.
CAPTION: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green (right), converses with Custos of St. James, Bishop the Hon. Conrad Pitkin, at a Youth Enrichment Programme consultation on crime and violence at the Sea Gardens Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James, on Thursday (June 21).