News

Relief after HOPE interns paid

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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NATIONAL coordinator of the Housing Opportunity Production Employment (HOPE) programme Lieutenant Colonel Martin Rickman has indicated that at least six of the nine interns who last week Wednesday complained about not receiving their fortnightly stipend, have now been paid.

The interns reportedly received payments on Friday.

“We had six persons who contacted us and all of them were sorted out. The truth is we have been working and reaching out to other persons, but we had six persons who emailed us and every single one of them we dealt with those cases,” Rickman told the Jamaica Observer when contacted by telephone on Monday.

The HOPE programme is a training and apprenticeship initiative expected to provide an avenue for the development of fully rounded individuals, through a system of National Service Corps, to become productive members of society.

The programme targets unattached youth between 18 and 24 years old, who are not engaged in any meaningful way in the country.

Last week Wednesday, the Observer reported that a representative for the group had made contact with a complaint that the interns had not received their stipends.

The representative explained that individuals were trained for six weeks and were then placed in an organisation to work for four months.

According to the representative, the group had worked for just over a month without compensation.

The representative said no explanation was given for the delay in payments, which resulted in at least one person forfeiting the programme. Others had resorted to begging and borrowing cash to travel to and from their respective jobs.

On Monday, the representative confirmed that several interns from the group had received payment.

“We were told to check our accounts and we were paid. We are really, really relieved. The drawback is that some of us missed several days because we had no money to go to work and so that was deducted from the pay. We're now going to pay who we borrowed from,” the representative said.

— Kimone Francis


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