1,600 youths benefit from training programmes countrywide

Close to 1,600 young people across the country have been equipped with skills and knowledge to become gainfully employed after completing a series of training programmes by the Department of Youth.

Of this number, 614 Community Service Officers (CSOs) under the Youth Entrepreneurship and Apprenticeship Programme (YEAP) received training in the areas of solar panel installation and maintenance, upkeep of tractors, and Information Technology.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr.

As such, $303.4 million of the $820 million earmarked for this initiative was expended in the first half of 2021.

In July, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, M.P, and Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton signed a Memorandum of Agreement for a six-month theoretical and practical training in community development for CSOs.

The initiative is in keeping with the government’s commitment to enhance its human resources.

Minister Sukhai had said that “the CSO programme is not only an attachment to your village council and to provide support for your village development…our government also budgeted for training to be imparted to these CSOs.”

The Ministry of Finance’s mid-year report shows that the remaining beneficiaries were exposed to programmes such as robotics, financial literacy and small business training, job readiness, substance abuse, life skills, and renewable energy. About $31.2 million was used from the budgeted $85 million.

Since assuming office in 2020, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., M.P, had stated that there is a need to reshape the existing youth training programmes after reviewing the Ministry’s Youth Empowerment Unit. This approach, he said, will increase the success rate of the department.

In hopes to fulfil this vision, he said that “an inter-ministerial engagement has sought to improve coordination and minimise redundancy across the various government training programmes, including those offered by the department of youth. The government has engaged the private sector, including an educational institution, to standardise the training programmes being offered.”

Further interventions will be done to ensure the trained young people are gainfully employed, once the website of the national job bank goes live (online) by year-end.

The ministry is also undertaking preparatory work for the reform and re-launch of the Voluntary Support Platform which facilitates work-study attachments and the formation of community development youth groups across the country.

The ministry is also setting up its secretariat and employing a youth empowerment coordinator for its youth advisory council.

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