YSEP off to strong start

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Sun­day Gleaner Writer jodi-ann.gilpin@glean­erjm.com

THE MORE than 600 young peo­ple who packed the au­di­to­rium of the Douglas Orane Au­di­to­rium at the Wolmer’s Boys’ School in Kingston last Fri­day was a sig­nal to the Kingston and St An­drew Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion that its Youth Sum­mer Em­ploy­ment Pro­gramme (YSEP) is a well-needed in­ter­ven­tion.

Mayor of Kingston Del­roy Wil­liams used the launch to ap­plaud the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and the Cab­i­net, by ex­ten­sion, for con­sis­tently in­volv­ing and en­gag­ing the youth in lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

“We have seen an in­crease of 50 per cent in the al­lo­ca­tion to each di­vi­sion for the sum­mer em­ploy­ment pro­gramme and we are grate­ful. A lot was ac­com­plished last year through this ini­tia­tive and the city and the youth mu­tu­ally ben­e­fited;” said Wil­liams.

STEP­PING STONE

He charged the youth in at­ten­dance to take the op­por­tu­nity as one of lead­er­ship, and en­cour­aged them to con­sider them­selves as a part of the gov­ern­ment for the next few weeks and ap­ply them­selves to their re­spec­tive tasks.

“I want you to take this as an op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply your skills to the city of Kingston. Your skills are ul­ti­mately for the city, your fam­ily and coun­try to ben­e­fit. You are the fu­ture of Ja­maica, and we want you to be en­gaged and in­volved,” added Wil­liams.

He said he is firm in his be­lief that the youth will be the dif­fer­ence in the trans­for­ma­tion of our ur­ban cen­tres, and that the YSEP is an ex­cel­lent tool to get them in­volved in gov­er­nance.

For his part, Robert Hill, town clerk, in an in­ter­view with The Sun­day Gleaner at the YSEP ori­en­ta­tion ses­sion, said the fo­cus this year will be on plac­ing young peo­ple in ar­eas which in­clude the ver­i­fi­ca­tion of street lights, check­ing signs, bill­boards and trade li­cences, in ad­di­tion to work in dis­as­ter-prone ar­eas.

“The min­is­ter (Des­mond McKen­zie) has as­signed dis­as­ter co­or­di­na­tors, and five of these par­tic­i­pants will work with him to en­sure that we look at those ar­eas which re­quire spe­cial at­ten­tion as it re­lates to dis­as­ter is­sues which may ex­ist,” said Hill.

“Un­em­ploy­ment is a re­al­ity but this pro­vides a step­ping stone for these per­sons who would other­wise re­quire ex­pe­ri­ence. This will give them that kind of ex­pe­ri­ence which will re­quire them to in­ter­act with the pub­lic, to deal with data man­age­ment, to col­late and to make pre­sen­ta­tions, as well as to build their own ex­pe­ri­ence and life skills.

“We are happy to be a part of this pro­gramme. We ex­pect great things from them. This is a rich set of young peo­ple raring to go, and we are pro­vid­ing them with this op­por­tu­nity of life ex­pe­ri­ence to build their own pro­fes­sional pro­file,” added Hill.

Deputy Mayor Win­ston En­nis shared sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments, but said that he hopes the young peo­ple will move be­yond aca­demics and what they are told to do, and in­stead gar­ner skills that will take them through life.

“This is a pro­gramme which will have our young peo­ple oc­cu­pied at this time. It sends a sig­nal that the Gov­ern­ment is think­ing of young peo­ple. We are try­ing to see how best we can have them en­gaged, there­fore, they won’t have any time for the neg­a­tive,” said En­nis.

“I would say to young peo­ple to make sure that they are ed­u­cated not only aca­dem­i­cally but make sure they ap­ply com­mon sense be­cause that is miss­ing a lot,” added En­nis.

RI­CARDO MAKYN/MUL­TI­ME­DIA PHOTO ED­I­TOR

Some of the more than 600 youths who turned out for the 2018 Youth Sum­mer Em­ploy­ment pro­gramme at the Wolmer’s au­di­to­rium in St An­drew last Fri­day.

WIL­LIAMS

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