Just over two dozen young people have completed a programme that provided them with unique employment opportunities, and organisers have signalled their intention to expand the initiative.
The “Get Into. . .” initiative, sponsored by Prince’s Trust International, received unwavering support from Government and some local companies with the “Get into Logistics” portion of the pilot project. Last Friday, 25 more young people between the ages of 16 and 25 passed out of the “Get Into Hospitality” portion of the project, which afforded them internship opportunities with the Courtyard by Marriott and the Elegant Hotels group.
During a ceremony at the Courtyard by Marriott, Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment Adrian Forde said the programme went hand in hand with his Ministry’s mandate of enfranchising young people.
“It is easy for us to inflate the egos and expectations of our young people, but the worst thing is to deflate it, because we would be creating a social storm. Youth unemployment among those between the ages of 16 and 30 now stands at 30 per cent. Recognising that, we are saying as a Government, under this Ministry, that we must create programmes which seek to bridge this gap and reduce unemployment levels among our young people,” said Forde.
He called for the development of more programmes that direct youth to niche markets, like the recycling industry.
“It makes no sense putting out people involved in an industry that is already congested. Let us look for new dimensions,” Minister Forde said.
He added that the programme coordinators were also hoping to offer courses in construction and the cultural industries.
The Maria Holder Memorial Trust is also a stakeholder in the initiative.
The Trust’s chief project manager Ruchelle Roach revealed that 59 per cent of participants had already found jobs, and she lauded the programme for providing unique insight and experience in profitable industries.
Some of the participants also gave glowing testaments of the programme’s effectiveness. (KS)