Almost four dozen inmates will be pursuing technical and vocational training programmes at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology and the Jean and Norma Holder Hospitality Institute next month.
The 47 young men and women are getting the opportunity through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment’s Next Steps Training initiative.
The hybrid programme, for which an orientation seminar has already been facilitated, will see participants engaged in online training in hospitality, industrial, and beauty therapy courses in the first phase. The practical component of the programme will be carried out after the participants’ release from prison.
The four-month initiative is part of the Ministry’s suite of developmental programmes offering second chance opportunities through training and capacity building to marginalised youth.
“It is projected that it will contribute to a reduction in recidivism while building individual capacity in preparation for employability and entrepreneurial opportunities,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry has already developed a partnership with the non-governmental organisation, Prison Fellowship, to strengthen the capacity of inmates with a view to enabling them to create small business and entrepreneurship opportunities for themselves. It said it continues to create and seek partnerships to provide opportunities for young people across Barbados.
The Next Steps Training Initiative is a registration hub for the newly introduced Barbados Construction Gateway Initiative and offers a wide range of training programmes in the hospitality, digital media, technical and vocational, beauty therapy, and social service areas.
Programmes are free and designed to match the needs of the country and interests of persons 16 to 35 years.
“The Ministry is also very cognisant of the need to support the young people on the blocks and, to this end, the Ministry has reactivated its Block Committee and engagement with those youth has already reaped meaningful information to facilitate the delivery of relevant programming,” it said.
It added that it is also feverishly moving ahead to commence the construction of kiosks in the second phase of its Building Blocks programme, while at the same time identifying sites to inform the third phase which should begin next year. (BT/BGIS)