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PM Announces HOPE Project

Jamaica Information / Prime Minister the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness (2nd right) makes his presentation in the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 21. Listening (from left) are Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington. In the background is Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz. + – Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness (2nd right) makes his presentation in the 2017/18 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 21. Listening (from left) are Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington. In the background is Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Tuesday (March 21), announced the launch of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme during his 2017/18 Budget Debate presentation in Gordon House. The HOPE initiative aims to provide educational and job opportunities for young persons, aged 19 to 24 years, who are not employed or enrolled in school or any programme of training. This undertaking will involve skills training through apprenticeship work programmes, personal development and responsibility, and citizenship and volunteerism.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Tuesday (March 21), announced the launch of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme during his 2017/18 Budget Debate presentation in Gordon House.

The HOPE initiative aims to provide educational and job opportunities for young persons, aged 19 to 24 years, who are not employed or enrolled in school or any programme of training.

Mr. Holness advised that the newly constituted Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA) would create a universal system of institutional attachment for the target age cohort.

This undertaking will involve skills training through apprenticeship work programmes, personal development and responsibility, and citizenship and volunteerism.

The new entity will be a merger of HEART Trust/NTA, the National Youth Service (NYS), Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) and the Apprenticeship Board.

Mr. Holness said the new HEART Trust/NTA would be required to develop a comprehensive national corps service system.

This, he explained, is to ensure that “every Jamaican youth in the targeted age cohort… can find useful work under a programme of apprenticeship while gaining the opportunity to be trained in a marketable skill, earning a reasonable stipend and participating in a savings programme, where possible”.

The Prime Minister advised that seven service corps areas are being identified for development, which will be aligned to strategic national objectives.

Among them is the document management and digitisation corps, in which Mr. Holness said approximately 3,000 work opportunities have already been identified.

Engagements in this area will entail work by the National Housing Trust (NHT), National Land Agency (NLA) and Registrar General’s Department (RGD) to digitise their documents, records and processes.

“The Ministry of Health, Tax Administration Jamaica and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information…have (also) indicated the need (to undertake) document digitisation to make their business processes more efficient, and will provide work opportunities,” the Prime Minister outlined.

The other service corps areas will focus on environment management; geographic information systems; infrastructure and construction; registration, verification and audit; hospitality; and the national service enlistment programme.

“We have already identified approximately 15,000 real opportunities for work. Our target for this year (2017/18) is to reach 25,000 work opportunities… by building partnerships with the private sector and strategically leveraging existing budgeted resources,” Mr. Holness said.

He advised that further details on the corps would be outlined shortly.

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