HOPE for areas under enhanced security measures


HOPE for areas under enhanced security measures

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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EFFORTS are being made to forge tangible partnerships between the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme and security forces on duty in communities declared zones of special operations (ZOSOs) and areas where states of public emergency have been instituted.

This was disclosed by national coordinator for HOPE, Lt Col Martin Rickman, who was speaking during a recent JIS Think Tank at the agency's head office in Kingston.

Lt Col Rickman said HOPE is seeking to reach as many unattached youth as is possible, noting that “we have, so far, been able to identify four former detainees under the state of public emergency being undertaken in St James”.

He pointed out that these individuals are currently undergoing training through HEART Trust/NTA.

Lt Col Rickman noted that not all individuals identified for assistance will be able to register for HOPE because of the age requirements.

“The cut-off is 24 years… but we are committed to assisting individuals in the best way we can. We can direct those who fall outside of the target group to existing programmes where they are able to access training to further develop themselves,” he indicated.

Lt Col Rickman emphasised that this undertaking is the beginning of the engagement being embarked on, adding that the programme will continue to make an impact on the youth in a coordinated and inclusive manner.

Talks are now under way with teams deployed in St Catherine to continue the initiative to direct willing participants to the programme and offer them meaningful opportunities to make significant changes to their current situation.

Negotiations have also commenced with a number of private sector organisations, which have been coming forward to pledge their support to assist in facilitating trainees with the completion of their apprenticeship.

The HOPE programme was launched in May 2017 as part of the Government's thrust to take a coordinated approach to engage, in a meaningful way, unattached youth islandwide.

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