Hundreds of young people from across the island turned out at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston yesterday for the first I Believe National Youth Conference.
The conference is the long-awaited dream of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, stemming from the various county consultative conferences held over the past few years, focusing on career development and youth entrepreneurship.
Sir Patrick said the I Believe Initiative has widened since its official launch in 2011.
"I am pleased that the number of I Believe ambassadors is increasing, and that each one is helping to shout the message," he said.
Utilising the technology of the day, participants were encouraged to tweet questions to the presenters and express their feelings about the conference, using @ibija (#NYC2013).
Of particular interest was the presentation by Joan Vogelesang, CEO of Toon Boom Animations, who participated in the recently held Kingstoon, a two-day animation conference and festival. She told the gathering there were many job opportunities in the industry.
"All those major studios are looking to outsource and they are very happy to outsource to Jamaica," she said, suggesting Jamaicans needed to adapt to the quality and the timing of the industry. "We need to develop qualified manpower based on the principles of animation, because when the productions come in, it will be anywhere from 50 to 2,000 people that are required."
She said, in speaking with industry players, they all want to work with Jamaica because of its geography and creative base.
"The output of the global animation industry has reached US$222 billion, … and it's growing," she said.
Motivational speaker Alvin Day tried to perk students up, while Jamaica-born entrepreneur Levi Roots expounded on the ins and outs of becoming entrepreneurs.