Regional

20 Clarendon youth to undergo 18-month business training

Saturday, February 03, 2018

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The Clarendon Municipal Corporation has launched its second Youth in Business project, with a $2.4-million grant for 20 residents of the parish.

Under the initiative, the beneficiaries will participate in a three-month certificate course and an 18-month diploma programme, spearheaded by the HEART Trust/NTA and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation.

The project is seeking to build the capacity of existing small businesses in several communities across the parish.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), which has contributed $400,000 to the project, will be the coordinating agency through its Community Renewal Programme.

Speaking at the launch held on Wednesday in May Pen, Mayor Winston Maragh said the corporation is paying particular attention to the youth to assist them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

He told the gathering that 50 applicants have expressed interest in participating, and a selection committee will “meticulously” assess them. Based on the strength of their proposals, they will be accorded places in the training and then receive the grants.

The mayor said focus will be on garment manufacturing, baking, agro-processing, agriculture, cosmetology, and food preparation.

Maragh said the training is geared at ensuring the awardees can provide good management of the ventures, “and will eventually become successful business operators and contribute to improving the economy, and provide employment for the youth”.

Meanwhile, director general of the PIOJ, Dr Wayne Henry said he is looking forward to the initiative becoming an example of the types of partnerships that will “flow from our ongoing collaboration with the inter-agency network”.

He encouraged the participants to develop viable business plans and ensure that these are comprehensive and long-term.

The programme was first implemented in 2016 with support for 19 youth businesses, of which 18 are still operating.

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