Jamaica Gleaner / The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), in partnership with the Institute for Workforce Education and Development (IWED), has trained 62 unemployed persons in landscaping and facility maintenance at a cost of $9 million.

The young persons, who are from needy communities in the parishes of St Andrew, Kingston, and Clarendon, were each given certificates and starter kits last week during a graduation ceremony at the St Joseph’s Teachers’ College in Kingston.

They were trained as part of the Alternative Livelihood Skills Programme, which is a subproject under the JSIF’s $69 million Integrated Community Development Project, which delivers skills training for 400 youth between 17 and 29 years of age.

Social Development Manager, JSIF, Mona Sue-Ho, said that the organisation was pleased to offer assistance through training and certification to aspiring landscapers and facility-maintenance personnel.

“Last month, we were pleased to celebrate with the graduates from the St James area, and, today, we are here to celebrate another successful partnership between the Jamaica Social Investment Fund and the Institute for Workforce Education and Development,” she said.

“At JSIF, we strongly support meaningful partnerships, and we are, therefore, appreciative of the kind efforts of Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited – the parent company of IWED – which will be handing over 62 tool kits to the graduates valued at approximately US$6,500,” Sue-Ho.

One of the graduates, Shanardo Archer, said that he was happy that he got the opportunity to be trained and also given tools to start doing his own landscaping jobs.

“It’s a good programme for the youth. We can actually start using the tool kit to make some money,” he said.

Another graduate, Kamau Brown, said that she, too, was happy about receiving training and tools.

“With what I have now, I can use it to go on my own and start my own business. I can use the [weed] whacker as a start to owning my own business,” Brown said.

After the ceremony, the graduates did demonstrations of what they were taught regarding landscaping and facility maintenance on the grounds of the college.


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