Troja youths want skills training opportunities
Beset by problems of unemployment and the lack of basic skills to create economic independence youths in the small farming community of Troja in the northeastern section of St Catherine are crying out for attention.
President of the Troja Citizens’ Association Pam Seaton is of the view that the youth population is at a severe disadvantage with high rates of unemployment, and a woeful lack of marketable skills.
“The youths in Troja and surrounding communities are now requesting skills (training in areas) like auto mechanic, internet technology, plumbing, electrical installation, and some want to learn cooking to pull themselves of out of the abyss,” she told The Gleaner recently.
“We are here to encourage and provide the necessary support mechanisms to enable the process of skills training, but the avenues to accomplish this are lacking, we need a skills training centre,” Seaton stated.
“We are piling up scores of youths who leave school and nothing to do. And because they are from very poor backgrounds and their parents cannot afford to send them any further, they look to them learning a skill to help the family,” Seaton revealed.
Secretary of the association Paula Duncan Frater says the group is currently engaged in an initiative with a view to facilitate a skills training programme at a community centre that has fallen into disrepair.
“The plan is to engage the HEART/NSTA as soon as we can get the funding in place to refurbish the centre. This will help to propel the skills training of our youths and harness a repertoire of skills that we can draw on for development,” she said.
She is appealing to corporate Jamaica to help to refurbish the community centre for the purpose.
Cultural development is also being considered as an avenue for youth development.
Councillor for the Troja division William Cytal is looking to scout and harness talents.
“I have seen the vast array of talent in Troja. We have excellent singers and other performers, so I have initiated a talent hunt to identify so we can expose them to the world,” Cytal told The Gleaner.
The inaugural staging of the talent hunt was on Easter Monday and it has sparked widespread interest from the youth in the community.
“The winners of this contest will get an opportunity to launch their singing or DJ careers. I have engaged a leading record producer to record their songs which will be played on all leading social media platforms,” Cytal informed.