St Thomas youths get summer employment
MORANT BAY, St Thomas:
THE FIRST batch of the Ministry of Youth and Culture's National Youth Service (NYS) summer employees yesterday ventured out to their new places of temporary employment.
The St Thomas chapter received more than 400 applicants this year, 160 of whom were randomly selected and positioned in a range of business places in the parish.
Donnalee Duffus Clayton, regional field officer for St Thomas, told The Gleaner that though they get hundreds of applications each year, placement is never an issue because both the Government and private sector are on board with the initiative.
She said the various organisations see this as an opportunity to give back to the community.
Every year, students and graduates between the ages of 17 and 24 get a chance to volunteer their services in various sectors such as libraries, police stations, tax offices, and parish council offices.
A two-day orientation had applicants learning more about the value of volunteerism and the basic etiquette of the workplace.
Inspector Ransford Smith, subofficer in charge of the Community Safety and Security Initiative, urged the youth to report any form of inappropriate advances made towards them while working.
"Be comfortable with who you are. If someone says or does something to make you uncomfortable in the workplace, you should take steps to have yourself removed from the organisation," said Smith.
The NYS and the Jamaica Constabulary Force have established a partnership, and the police have been addressing the groups over the years.
Other presentations were done on budgeting, career planning, and the rights and responsibilities of the employer and employee.
Second-time applicant Romario Gill said he was extremely grateful for the opportunity and was in full support of the initiative.
"NYS gives us the experience and exposure we need to prepare ourselves for the world of work," said Gill, a first-year college student majoring in education.
"I would strongly recommend others to come on board next year. Most young people are available in the summer time with nothing to do. Instead of idling, come occupy your time. It helps you stay out of trouble," Gill said.
"Plus the experience is worth your time," he added with a broad grin.
A second batch of applicants will be selected to work next month.