“The summer camp intervention has proven to be very effective in meeting its objectives as results show that upwards of 83 per cent of the participants are ultimately re-integrated in some form of educational institution and training…The Steps-to-Work programme is about graduating people from welfare to well-being,” he stated.
Speaking at the closing ceremony for the 2014 summer camp held at the Chestervale Youth Camp in Eco Village, St. Andrew on Wednesday, September 3, he said some 111 at-risk youth from Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) beneficiary households island-wide, benefited from skills and development training at this year’s camp.
The camp which provides an opportunity for school dropouts to develop literacy and job skills to re-enter the school system or seek employment, saw the participants age 14 to 17 years, being taught vocational skills, behaviour modification, and life skills, while befitting from career development training.
Minister Kellier reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to assisting young people to go back to school, and attain secondary or higher certification, to participate in the labour market as productive citizens.
“Being disconnected from school and the labour market will only lead to scarring you for life in terms of lowering your earning potential in the future and we are committed therefore to improving training, education and employment outcomes for youth like yourselves,” he said.
Minister Kellier, who is also the Acting Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, urged the participants to explore career opportunities in agriculture. “Invest in or support some agricultural venture in your communities to promote farming as a way of life as well as the buy Jamaica, eat Jamaica campaign,” he encouraged.
Steps-to-Work, a project of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, is designed to deliver interventions to beneficiaries of PATH.
The aim is to wean beneficiaries from the programme, by providing them with training, entrepreneurship and employment skills to become economically self-sufficient and provide for themselves and their families.
Numeracy and literacy training is provided through the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), while persons, who are literate, are engaged in studies to obtain certification through the HEART/NTA and other institutions.
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