Sat | Nov 18, 2017

'Rescue the youth' - Grant turns to corporate Jamaica for help

Published:Friday | February 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM
From left: Wayne Chen, convention director of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF); Brenda Cuthbert, chief executive officer, JEF; Novelette Grant, acting commissioner of police; and David Wan, president, JEF, at the breakfast launch of the 35th Annual Business and Workplace Convention and Expo 2017 yesterday.

Acting Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant yesterday challenged corporate Jamaica to make it their mission to partner with schools across the country to help rescue youngsters who have been drawn into a life of crime, violence, and drug abuse.

The top cop told members of the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF) that her interactions with students sometimes revealed some harsh realities, where many spoke freely about their involvement with lotto scamming, illegal drugs, and other illicit activities.

"Be a key partner in building safe schools; spaces where we can start to develop the citizens that we want to employ because after all, you need the people who are coming out of the schools to staff your organisations," she urged during the launch of the JEF's 35th annual business and workplace convention and expo at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St Andrew.

She said that many teenagers described themselves as 'unattached', a label they wear because they are not properly nurtured and cared for by parents and/or caregivers. Grant warned that by the time these youngsters reach 15 years, they become dangerous to the community and, by extension, the society. According to the senior cop, these young people turn to a life of crime because of the experiences they have been forced to endure.

"I want to challenge the JEF and your workforce, make it a priority to get back to a school near you, even if the one you are from is too far away, because you have something to offer to these young people," she reasoned.

Reminding the JEF that the students who leave the various high schools will ultimately become their employees, Grant encouraged the federation to take some responsibility for the quality of staff that they receive.

"Let's get out there and create the citizens we want to hand over our companies to. Let's go out there and help develop the kind of human beings that we want to be in the workforce," she added.