SOME 240 students across the island will participate in the Junior Achievement Jamaica (JAJ) programme through a partnership with JN Fund Managers Limited (JNFM).
JAJ provides entrepreneurial, financial literacy, and workforce-readiness skills, which are essential for those entering the working world.
Annette Clayton Baker, vice -president for marketing and public relations at JNFM, said the goal was to target students in the vulnerable 15-24 age group.
"The programme will take the students beyond financial literacy," she said. "And the knowledge and skill sets to be taught will prove invaluable as they choose careers and learn how to manage their resources efficiently and effectively."
Clayton Baker pointed out that the schools to be included in the programme are Ardenne High, Titchfield High, Wolmer's Boys, Kingston College, Calabar High, St Hugh's High, St Jago High, Vere Technical, Holmwood Technical, and Herbert Morrison Technical.
"Many highly successful business persons began to hone their entrepreneurial skills while in high school," she stated. "We want more of our young people to have that opportunity."
JN Fund Managers, along with the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation, will sign the agreement with the JAJ at Ardenne High School in St Andrew today.
Alphie Mullings-Aiken, president of JAJ, said the programme is based on partnerships between the business community and educators and involves volunteers, who share their experience with children on creating and managing wealth, as well as developing the entrepreneurial spirit. Younger children, starting from age five, are taught about saving and money management, while older students get experience to develop and operate their own business.
Mullings-Aiken said that Junior Achievement is an international initiative which collaborates with school administrations to implement practical programmes over the school year, based on their respective academic schedules.
"The goal is to provide students with financial and management skills, which allow them to contribute to economic development," Mullings-Aiken said. "The exposure will enable students to find gainful employment, create their own employment, or gain the skills to access higher education."
Saffrey Brown, general manager of the JNBS Foundation, said, "Children are even more motivated to learn when they believe that other people are interested in them doing well."
Volunteers from the private sector offer students insight into the working world to prepare them for successful careers, Brown stated. "Students also discover that through innovation and imagination, they can go on to create their own jobs."