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NYS seeks placement partners for graduate work programme

Sunday, October 29, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The National Youth Service (NYS) is calling for public and private sector employers to partner with the entity for the placement of students under its Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP).

The programme is designed to provide valuable job skills to tertiary graduates up to 29 years old, who possess a first degree, associate degree or training certification at level four and above.

It is in response to the difficulty faced by many graduates in finding employment because of lack of previous experience.

Through the programme, graduates are able to complement their theoretical knowledge with practical job experience thereby building their confidence and workplace skills.

Participants benefit from six months of experience in a practical work environment, supported by a stipend normally paid by the NYS.

Director of Communications and Marketing at the NYS, Julia Smiley Green, says this financial year, the agency is encouraging employers, who can place and pay the participants a stipend for at least six months, to come on board.

“In the previous years, the NYS used to be the entity that solely takes on the responsibility of paying the stipend to these graduates. However, we have changed our approach somewhat for the cohort this year, so we are actually asking for employers, who are coming on board to partner with us for GWEP, to assist by paying a stipend to the participants,” she says.

She notes that the stipend is paid on a fortnightly basis, adding that prospective partners are being encouraged to at least “pay what we would pay.”

“We are finding that some persons who come on board actually pay more and we encourage that because these persons who we are providing for in the programme, they are well trained, they are qualified and they come with a degree,” she points out.

She is inviting interested entities to contact the NYS at 754-9816-8.

“We do have a placement coordinator, who has specific responsibility for engaging our partners, so they could call our office or send an email to placement_ys@heart–nta.org,” Smiley Green indicates.

The NYS’ Graduate Work Experience Programme was piloted in the financial year 2012/2013. All participants are monitored and evaluated within the programme and also benefit from personal development sessions.

The Government has been increasing the number of young people gaining work and professional development under the initiative.

In his contribution to the 2017/18 sectoral debate, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, indicated that some 600 youth would gain placements this year, up from the 503 last year and 300 in 2015.

The Director of Communication says that GWEP has been receiving tremendous support from stakeholders, stating that requests are often made for students before applications open.

“We get support from both the private and public sectors and what we find is that, the companies recognise that these individuals, they too have meaningful contributions to make even though they may not yet have all the experience that is required,” she notes.

She says that while the programme accommodates students in all fields of study employers, in recent times, have been requesting skills in areas such as information technology, marketing, psychology, accounting, administration, graphics and sales.

“We are saying if you have any of these degrees mentioned, now is an opportune time for you to get in touch with us for us to try and match you with a placement site. But it does not exclude all the other areas of study that persons would have their degrees in. If you have your first degree or your associate degree and you don’t have the experience and you are looking for a job, contact us and we will try our best to find a placement site for you,” she says.

Interested participants are required to fill out an application form and provide a copy of their qualifications; one passport size photo (no more than six months old); Tax Registration Number (TRN); and copies of birth certificate, and national or school identification card.

They can also contact the NYS Placement Co-coordinator at 7754-9816-8; or visit http://www.nys.org.jm for more information. Forms can also be collected at the various NYS offices island-wide.

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