West Central St James' Member of Parliament Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams is to ramp up training programmes in her constituency to reverse what she says is a spike in criminal activities among young people.
Ffolkes-Abrahams told The Gleaner on Tuesday that she would be spending in excess of $5 million in the constituency.
The focal points will be the volatile communities of Granville and Mount Salem; however, other communities also stand to benefit.
"I have already started the programme, but I am now taking steps to improve it. Eighty persons drawn from different communities across the constituency graduated from a new entrepreneurship programme in August this year, which was conducted in conjunction with the Jamaica Business Development Centre," said Ffolkes-Abrahams.
The member of parliament said that under that programme, each participant was given a $20,000 grant from her Constituency Development Fund to assist them in starting their own business.
Ffolkes-Abrahams said she also has plans to extend a block factory in Mount Salem, which has been used as part of the entrepre-neurship programme, to train additional young men from the community. In addition, she has plans to refurbish an abandoned building in Mount Salem to enhance the entrepreneurship programme.
"I have made a request to the St James Parish Council to turn over the building - which once housed the postal agency in Mount Salem - to us, so we could refurbish it and use it as the centre of entrepreneurship for that community. We are awaiting the final response to that request to move ahead," she said.