Fri | Mar 22, 2019

CMU trains at-risk youths

Published:Saturday | March 16, 2019 | 12:14 AM
Minster of National Security Dr Horace Chang tests his driving skills in the simulation room at the Caribbean Maritime University, while permanent secretary in the ministry, Dianne McIntosh; programme manager at the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, Simeon Robinson; and president at the Caribbean Maritime University, Professor Fritz Pinnock, look on.
Minster of National Security Dr Horace Chang tests his driving skills in the simulation room at the Caribbean Maritime University, while permanent secretary in the ministry, Dianne McIntosh; programme manager at the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, Simeon Robinson; and president at the Caribbean Maritime University, Professor Fritz Pinnock, look on.

More than 90 at-risk youths will receive training from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) through the Ministry of National Security’s flagship Youth Empowerment Training Initiative (YETI).

The ministry, in keeping with its policy to design and implement social-development interventions of music, sports or technology (MST), has partnered with CMU and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) to deliver the training in heavy-duty equipment handling, mechatronics, industrial maintenance, and principles of food production. The announcement was made during the launch and orientation of the programme at the CMU in Port Royal on Thursday.

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, during his remarks, said that the all-rounded approach will see students being equipped with skills that will create pathways to local and international job opportunities.

“Recognising this, the Ministry of National Security has designed and implemented initiatives that seek to use music, sports and technology to target at-risk youth located in vulnerable communities in Kingston and St James. These communities were selected against empirical evidence that concludes that programmes which utilise technology in the delivery of knowledge tend to show high retention rates among youth,” he said.

While in training, the at-risk youths will benefit from continued case management by the CSJP-trained case management community officers – to reduce the possible risk of attrition fallout and loss of motivation.

For his part, programme manager at the CSJP, Simeon Robinson, revealed that students enrolled in the globally recognised certificate programme would benefit from fully paid tuition, uniforms, and a stipend to cover meal and travelling expenses.

He added that the group was selected in accordance with the programme’s rigorous risk-assessment protocols and is regarded as a medium to high risk, with participants ranging in age from 20 to 29 years old.

He said the intervention programme would help to fight crime by facilitating behavioural change and character -building among the group.

YETI is part of a broader programme embedded in the ministry’s five-pillar crime-reduction strategy with a specific focus on crime prevention through social development.