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Applications open for USF Technology Advancement Programme

Published:Wednesday | July 31, 2019 | 12:22 AM
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams (second right) chats with Daniel Dawes (second left), chief executive officer (CEO) at the Universal Service Fund; Colonel Martin Rickman (left), national coordinator of the HOPE Programme; and Chris Dehring, CEO of ReadyTV, before the launch of the USF’s Technology Advancement Programme at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Tuesday.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams (second right) chats with Daniel Dawes (second left), chief executive officer (CEO) at the Universal Service Fund; Colonel Martin Rickman (left), national coordinator of the HOPE Programme; and Chris Dehring, CEO of ReadyTV, before the launch of the USF’s Technology Advancement Programme at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Tuesday.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) is now accepting applications from unattached youth interested in information and communication technology (ICT) training.

The intervention, dubbed the Technology Advancement Programme (TAP), is a year-long initiative that provides participants with training, practical experience, and certification in ICT.

Since its introduction two years ago, 890 young persons have been impacted by the programme. This year, TAP will target 600 young persons aged 18-35.

Speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the second tranche of the programme, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams said that TAP goes to the heart of the ministry’s efforts to create a digitally inclusive and literate society.

“TAP created a bridge where we were able to develop within our youth the technological know-how to successfully navigate and contribute to this economy and the betterment of their own lives,” Williams said.

Under the first phase of the programme, participants received three months of training from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), followed by nine months of work experience at entities across the private and public sectors.

TRAINING TIMELINE

Seventy-five per cent of TAP participants completed the training component of the intervention and were certified by the CMU. Several participants under the work-experience component of the programme were also retained by their host organisations after their internships.

For 2019, participants will still receive three months of training in ICT from the CMU but will also receive two months of training in systems administration from the HEART/Trust NTA through the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme.

The engagement will continue with participants providing administrative support at one of the 311 community computer labs established by the USF islandwide. The programme concludes with six months of on-the-job experience at an organisation within the private or public sector.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will be certified by the CMU and the HEART Trust/NTA and will receive a certificate of completion from the USF.

Participants will receive a weekly stipend of $10,600, inclusive of a compulsory savings component.

Interested persons aged 18-35 are invited to apply for the programme by visiting the USF’s website – www.usf.gov.jm.

Training under TAP will commence in September 2019.