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Skills training for inner-city youngsters

Published:Sunday | July 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Giorgio Valentini -Ian Allen/Photographer

Approximately 100 at-risk young Jamaicans are now benefiting from a one-year Operation Friendship training programme, part funded by the World Bank and the Japan Social Development Fund Grant.

The skills-training programme, which is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), started in March with the official opening ceremony staged last week.

The programme focuses on skills development for young persons in welding, building construction, plumbing, food preparation and electrical installation.

The course is designed to take the students up to a HEART Trust/NTA Level One certification.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, general manager for human resources and communications at JSIF, Rhonda Lumsden-Lue, said the beneficiaries hail from six inner-city communities in Kingston and St Andrew.

These were identified as Whitfield Town, Federal Gardens, Jones Town, Craig Town, and Passmore Gardens.

"The main aim of this training is to empower each person with the appropriate skills to generate their own income or become self-employed," said Lumsden-Lue

She was supported by World Bank representative for Latin America and the Caribbean, Giorgio Valentini, who argued that "trade skills are important and critical to maintain status and improve economy".

It was also announced that as an incentive at least 30 per cent of the top-performing students will be offered temporary apprenticeship placement opportunities.