Heart set on reaching unattached youth
Making reference to the latest statistics showing that there are some 140,000 unattached youth in the country, chairman of the HEART Trust/National Training Agency, Edward Gabbidon, said he intends is to establish new methods of youth empowerment for the vulnerable youngsters of Jamaica.
"My latest checks show that there about 140,000 youngsters who fell out of the formal education system.
"Maybe they are dropping out at third form or not being able to go to school because of some of the areas that they are living in. Some don't have the money and some just have to go out and hustle," he told The Gleaner during the Inaugural TVET Leaders' Summit and Youth Forum, held Tuesday at The Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
"What we want to do is to reach those who have gone into an industry. Once you have a certain skill setwe train you, get you certified so that you can remain in that industry. For those who would like another path, we are saying to you that you can come in, get trained so that we can create a path for you, " he said.
He said that what he has observed in the year since his appointment, is that more has to be done to create programmes that will be attractive to young people.
"One of the things we have to look at is training persons for areas that are employable. The BPO (business process outsourcing), the technical field and agriculture are some of those areas. In terms of agriculture, it has to be First- World, so that it will interest the young people. You have to create a framework as to what are best practices, what are international practices. Train for jobs that are available," he said.
"What we have to do with the youngsters, whatever we are selling to them, we have to make it interesting and appealing. The Government can't find jobs for everybody, so we have to be the ones to light that fire of wanting to be good at something and then to sell that in order to make money. What we need to do is to use a different modality to get the message across to them."