Sat | Sep 23, 2017

What about St Thomas, JSIF?

Published:Thursday | February 2, 2017 | 2:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

I refer to a Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) advertisement entitled "Employment Internship Programme" published in the Gleaner on February 1, 2017. Upon seeing and reading this ad, I immediately thought of it as an excellent idea. It was a good way to ensure that young people got an opportunity to gain valuable work experience. I was, however, left disappointed as this programme only asked for applicants from five parishes; Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, and St James.

This programme falls under the JSIF's poverty reduction programme. St Thomas, the least developed and often forgotten parish, is not included in this programme. The parish suffers from neglect and poverty. In areas such as Trinityville, there are no viable industries, leading to the presence of high levels of unemployment and unattached youth.

As a young person from St Thomas, I know how hard it is to get a job. Many young people have sent out dozens of application letters and rÈsumÈs and are still out of work. Many of us have left high school with as many as nine CSEC subjects and are unable to transition into the university system because the cost of pursuing a degree is more than we can afford. We are also unable to find guarantors for student loans.

willing and able

There are many bright young people in the parish who are willing and able to work and who would require more work experience to make them more competitive in the job market.

This letter should not be viewed as an attack on the JSIF. I am writing as a concerned young person who has been through struggles and would like to see improvements in my parish. I ask that the JSIF make an effort to include St Thomas in this programme, thereby allowing the youth of St Thomas to benefit.

Sania Brown