SAJ and CSJP - providing training and employment opportunities for at-risk youth
SAJ, CSJP provide
training, employment opportunities for at-risk youth
Thirty young men from economically vulnerable and crime-torn communities have been given a chance to train as stevedores under a special apprenticeship programme, a partnership between the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) and the Ministry of National Security, under its Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed last Thursday, by SAJ president, Kim Clarke, and Minister of National Security Peter Bunting at a press conference held at the Newport West offices of the association.
Under the MOU, SAJ will provide a minimum of six months' apprenticeship, renewable up to three years, based on the performance of participants.
Participants, some of whom received training from the Caribbean Maritime Institute, will be exposed to five weeks' classroom training.
The prospective stevedores will pursue competency-based certification under SAJ's stevedoring-training programme, which has attained accreditation from the HEART Trust/NTA National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Clarke said it was a simple decision to extend the skills training to young men in the CSJP, noting that the Kingston port was built by the hard labour of many similar young men who needed to be given a fair opportunity to earn a living and take care of their families.
"This memorandum of understanding that we sign here today cements these opportunities in a critical partnership intended to improve lives, improve the sector we serve and improve our country," Clarke said.
Meanwhile, Bunting said providing training and employment opportunities for young people is an important component of the Government's efforts to reduce crime and violence in the nation.
"The signing of this MOU today is just one example of what we are doing to provide at-risk youth with options that make it easier for them to resist the lure of criminal alternatives that they face," Bunting said as he commended the joint efforts of SAJ and CSJP.
CSJP is funded by the Department for International Development (UK); the Inter-American Development Bank; and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Canada).