JPS, CSJP partner to train at-risk youthThursday, June 02, 2016
ENERGY company Jamaica Public Service ( JPS) recently signing two Memoranda of Understanding with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) in the Ministry of National Security to train and give internships to 45 at-risk youth.
The MOUs were signed by the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Senator Pearnel Charles, Jnr, and JPS President and CEO Kelly Tomblin at the energy company’s New Kingston offices.
Under the agreement, 15 of the participants will be trained in lineman skills, enabling them to work on any electrical network in the world, while the other 30 will be offered on-the-job internships for six months in different areas of the company, including meter reading, field service, engineering and lineman support operations.
The participants have already received training in electrical installation and electrical maintenance, as well as certification from the Caribbean Secondary Education Council.
According to JPS, the cost of the lineman training programme is just over $8.7 million, of which CSJP will cover $6.465 million, and JPS $2.25M million. Furthermore, JPS will spend another $17 million facilitating the internship programme.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, State Minister Charles commended JPS on its contribution to nation building. He noted the importance of private/public sector partnerships and its significance in the lives of the participants. Meanwhile, JPS President & CEO Kelly Tomblin expressed her delight in being a part of a programme that offers hope to young adults in need of an opportunity for self-development and employment.
"I am honoured to be a part of a programme that brings hope and opens doors for young people," she remarked.
"This initiative will add to the youthful input in our organisation. We need you," she told the group of interns.
The programme, she also pointed out, will provide more diversity and quality entrants to the company’s teams islandwide.
The agreements form part of the ministry’s effort to address the high levels of crime and violence in Jamaica. One of the major objectives of the CSJP is improved employability of young people from communities experiencing various social and economic challenges. This is being accomplished through strategic partnerships with the public and private sector, as well as civil society organisations.
JPS first became involved in the programme in 2014 as the company sought to deepen its role in community outreach and youth empowerment. At that time the company gave on-the-job internships to 20 unattached youth, who had been in a variety of training programmes at the Jamaica Defence Force.
A number of the participants later gained full-time employment with JPS, while others were employed by different organisations. Only five participants from the 2014 programme were not employed.
"They, however, are now absorbed into the lineman training programme run by JPS, ensuring that no participant is left behind," the company explained, noting that it is involved in other youth development programmes, ranging from interventions at the early childhood level, through to tertiary support.