National Unattached Youth Programme being reviewed
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, says the National Unattached Youth Programme, which provides skills training opportunities for young people aged 17 to 30 is being reviewed.
Clarke said that the revision is aimed at developing a new format for rollout of the HEART/NSTA Trust-administered programme during the 2021/22 fiscal year in response to challenges outlined in a September 2020 Auditor General’s Department report.
He was speaking during yesterday’s meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, whose members are reviewing the 2021/22 Estimates of Expenditure.
Clarke said that the 2020 Auditor General’s Department report, which was tabled in Parliament, provides an assessment of the programme delivered by the HEART/NSTA Trust between fiscal years 2014/15 and 2018/19.
He noted that “this particular programme (NUYP) was singled out, with question marks about value for money.”
“The report addresses some of the challenges that various administrations have had in delivering a certification rate that is above an acceptable threshold,” he said.
Clarke advised that the review is expected to be completed within the 2021/22 fiscal year, adding that “HEART/NSTA Trust will announce… an updated format… that, hopefully, addresses the weaknesses identified in the attorney general’s report”.
He further informed that the agency has commenced communication with Members of Parliament to ensure that where constituency training programmes are affected, HEART will notify the representatives in writing “so that [they] can be in an informed position when they engage with their constituents”.
“The challenge in our society that would have led to the origination of this programme still exists… [and] remains a priority of the HEART Trust. We want to make sure that we are addressing [it] in a manner that is most effective,” Clarke said.
The programme provides opportunities for unattached young people to get skills in various areas such as cake baking, bartending, housekeeping, and business administration.
They are HEART-certified upon completion of the courses, which last between six and nine months.
- JIS News
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