The number of participants in this year's National Summer Employment Programme has been increased by 25 per cent.
Reverend Adinhair Jones, executive director of the National Youth Service (NYS), told The Gleaner, that "This year's summer programme is part of a proposal by the World Bank, which will be conducting a study of the programme, which features a randomised selection design."
In his charge to the participants at yesterday's launch, he reminded them that for each individual accepted, there was one individual denied and he encouraged them to "take the messages and the core values of the National Youth Service and embrace them and nurture them until they become one with self."
Of the nearly 12,000 applicants to the programme this year, 50 per cent were selected, with special attention being given to the financial needs of participants before random selection.
The programme was originally designed to provide back-to-school assistance to needy students between the ages of 16 and 24 years old, Keisha Hines, project supervisor, explained. She noted that because of the demand for the programme, last year's budget of nearly $50 million will be increased by close to 20 per cent.