Technology minister says youth are getting crucial skills

Thursday, August 22, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, says Jamaica's youth are getting crucial skills, evidenced with over 600 participants in the 2019 Technology Advancement Programme (TAP).

The minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the orientation session for the programme, held today (August 22) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, said the participants will be equipped to make a positive contribution to the society.

“We are cognisant that the youth will lead the change in the digital era, and we are committed to providing them with the tools, and access to technology, to make it possible,” Williams told the audience.

The programme is funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF), with input from the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, where the participants will be trained over a one-year period by the Caribbean Maritime University, paid a stipend of $10,000 per week, and obtain certification at the end of the process.

Williams underscored that technology is a “crucial aspect” of the many changes that are occurring, and that will continue in “this digital era,” hence the commitment to prepare “our people for this age, and the time to do so is now.”

She also called for innovation with technology, rather than being “mere consumers.”

“Our people have the creative and innovative capacity for business, and with the use of technology, the possibilities for growth and reaching wider markets are even greater,” the minister said.

Williams called on the participants to become tech entrepreneurs, and emphasised that doing so would put them at the forefront of Jamaica's digital transformation.

“I want to encourage this cohort of participants to seize this opportunity with both hands. I believe this is a life-changing opportunity which has the potential to open doors for your future,” she said, adding that they should use the new skills to create tools and solutions which will solve real-world problems, or to contribute in the world of work.


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