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More companies urged to offer internships for young people

Sunday, January 13, 2019

MINISTER of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, says an increased number of internships and apprenticeships would serve to drive down the high rates of unemployment and disengagement among young people, and as such, he urged more private sector companies to make spaces available.

“We need more employers on board. We have to continue to dialogue with our private sector to say 'this is a critical plan to ensure that we drive down the number of young people that we have [who] are unemployed',” he said.

Green was speaking at the Poverty Reduction Programme's Youth Forum at Mona Visitors' Lodge in St Andrew on Thursday under the theme: 'Bridging the Gap… Solutions for Youth Unemployment'.

Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund Omar Sweeney said the forum provided opportunity for discussion aimed at addressing youth unemployment.

“Based on the latest findings from the Planning Institute of Jamaica's Economic and Social Survey, the national unemployment rate for 2017 was 11.7 per cent. However, the youth unemployment rate for the same period was recorded 28 per cent, which is more than double the national rate. Therefore, any kind of social intervention that can help to bridge the gap is always a welcome initiative,” he noted.

The Poverty Reduction Programme is a community-based initiative funded jointly by the Government of Jamaica and the European Union with the overall objective of empowering residents of vulnerable communities to achieve their fullest potential and contribute to the attainment of a secure, cohesive and just Jamaican society.

These outcomes are consistent with goals one and two of Vision 2030, Jamaica's National Development Plan.

The programme, which is being implemented by JSIF, got underway in 2001 and is slated to end in 2020.