YUTE graduates give big-up
THOUSANDS of youth from inner-city communities are singing the praises of the Youth Upliftment Through Employment programme (YUTE), which has given them a new lease on life as students and workers.
YUTE is a partnership led by the private sector with Government and international agency support, which was launched in 2010 after the Tivoli incursion, to help alleviate some of the problems faced by urban youth, including unemployment and lack of skills to earn.
Over 1,600 young men and women have benefited from academic and skills training. Eight hundred had job experience placements and many of these have become permanent employees and over 300 have a certified skill. Six hundred volunteer mentors guided them on their journey.
At a closing ceremony for the programme, awards were presented to sponsors and participants including five "Spirit of YUTE" awardees.
Chester Bryan was recognised for distinguishing himself in his security operations course, ranking first not only within YUTE, but also within other sponsored candidates and independent students.
George Cooke and June Dixon were said to "exemplify the growth that can take place when youth are supported and guided".
Marlon Brown, YUTE volunteer, said he "demonstrated a laudable ability to overcome obstacles en route to his goal. His honesty, maturity, and ability to keep a level head in rough situations, makes him a role model to his peers."
Here's what they had to say about YUTE:
"My mother told me about YUTE. One day she was passing by a pre-skills class and asked what it was all about. She signed me up. I was at home doing nothing. Now I have Level I Certification in Construction from HEART/NTA."
"My cousin told me about YUTE. She was part of a youth club in Parade Gardens and encouraged me to sign up for the programme. Because of YUTE I am more confident, not shy like before.
I got job placement at Caribbean Maritime Institute and I learned so much. Now I'm at Auto Impression as an assistant secretary doing data entry, filing and telemarketing. I'm so proud of myself."
"YUTE has changed my life. I am a better person -- it showed me that where I was in life was not the end of the world. I worked in data entry at the Ministry of Education and since YUTE I have gone on to get hospitality training. This is what I want to do."
"I was home doing nothing and some people from the YUTE programme came by recruiting, so I signed up. I expected to learn new things and meet new people. I got more than I expected. I did a course in industrial security operations at Caribbean Maritime Institute and was placed on job experience as a security guard in the library. Now, I am working there as a library assistant."