600 youth TAP in, prepare for jobs
More than $500 million has been pumped into the training and certification of roughly 600 young men and women under the Technology Advancement Programme (TAP).
Arriving from across the 14 parishes, the young Jamaicans, aged 18 to 35, converged at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston last Thursday for orientation into TAP, making them the second cohort to embark on the training and certification opportunity offered by the Government.
Daniel Dawes, the chief executive officer of the Universal Service Fund (USF), an entity which the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, has charge of, and which runs the programme, told enrollees that completing it could be an avenue to ensuring that they are always employed.
Dawes explained that the USF and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), one of the main partners of the programme, would track those who successfully complete the course to ensure they lead meaningful lives.
The first phase of the one-year programme, which has been combined with the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment programme, will see participants immersed in a three-month data-management and digitisation course, taught by the CMU in their respective parishes. Dawes said stakeholders are considering also inserting a 3D printing element into the course.
Following completion of the three-month course, The HEART Trust/NTA will train each person in computer administration before they are dispatched to various jobs in the private and public sectors for experience.
“All of you will be engaged for one full year. You will be given a stipend of more than $10,000 a week. When we spend all this money, it means that you must get work, and so we will be tracking you for five years. Some of you would have zero CXCs, based on my peep on the papers, and some of you would have got a diploma in something. I don’t take any university degree people in this programme. I want to give you a chance, and the Government wants to give you a chance, to go through the doors of a university (the CMU),” said Dawes.
“Once you are finished with the training at CMU and at HEART, in the final six months, we will assign everybody to make sure you get employment in the private or public sector. This programme is well thought out. We want to make sure that we don’t have the youngsters on the road side digging out their hand middles or dropping their pants below the buttocks.”