Making his contribution to the 2018/2019 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Mr. Holness said the move will double the number of young people engaged.
“We will engage 200 per constituency, targeting a total of 12,600 young people to be now attached and contributing to the productivity of our nation,” he noted.
Also under HOPE, 500 young people will be placed at the Ministry of Health in the Vector Control Corps and Medical Assistant Corps and 6,000 placed across ministries, departments and agencies in the Documentation and Digitisation Corps in keeping with the policy of digitising government.
In addition, 1,000 interns will be placed at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries as part of the Verification and Audit Corps, to conduct surveys and registration and to ensure the accuracy of the farmer and agriculture database; and over 1,000 young people will be deployed in the Hospitality Service Corps and the Transportation Cadet Corps across various projects.
“All ministries are on board and budgetary allocations made accordingly to ensure that adequate funding is in place. In addition, HOPE has secured $60 million through the Development Bank of Jamaica to increase training and placement islandwide,” Mr. Holness said.
“The exposure given to young people under the HOPE project allows them to build life skills and the positive attitudes of good citizens. We want to maximise the potential of all our young people and provide opportunities for them to self-actualise,” Mr. Holness said.
HOPE is the flagship social intervention and support programme of the Government.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness has committed to support the Plastic Bottle Return System.
He said members of the private sector have presented the Government with a proposal for the Plastic Bottle Return System, and it has been considered for implementation.
“With the collaborative action of stakeholders through the National Partnership Council… the Plastic Bottle Return System will see funding coming from the private sector for a ‘Deposit and Pay-Out on Return’ mechanism,” Mr. Holness said.
“The consensus on the part of the producers of plastic bottled products is a major step in overcoming the improper disposal of plastic bottles. The Government will support the Plastic Bottle Return System with the necessary regulatory and financial support where possible,” he added.
Mr. Holness pointed out that other initiatives are being considered by the Government with regard to plastic bags, plastic packaging material and Styrofoam; however, the Plastic Bottle Return System will help with solving numerous environmental problems.
“Jamaica faces a solid waste management crisis. This is evident in towns and cities, rural areas, waterways, on beaches and in the sea. The main evidence of this crisis is the prevalence of improperly disposed of and unrecycled plastics all over our natural and built environment,” the Prime Minister said.
“It’s not just a nuisance; it is a devaluing of the cleanliness of our environs, and a real threat to our ecosystems and the efficient working of civil infrastructure,” he added.
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