Over 90 at-risk youth will receive training from the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) through the Ministry of National Security’s flagship Youth Empowerment Training Initiative (YETI).
The Ministry, in keeping with its policy to design and implement social development interventions of Music, Sports or Technology (MST) has partnered with CMU and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) to deliver the training in Heavy Duty Equipment Handling, Mechatronics, Industrial Maintenance and Principles of Food Production. The announcement was made during the launch and orientation of the programme at the CMU in Port Royal today (Thursday, March 14).
The Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang during his remarks said the all-rounded approach will see students being equipped with skills that will create pathways to local and international job opportunities.
“Recognizing this, the Ministry of National Security has designed and implemented initiatives that seek to use Music Sports and Technology (MSTs) to target at-risk youth located in vulnerable communities in Kingston and St. James. These communities were selected against empirical evidence that concludes, that programmes which utilize technology in the delivery of knowledge, tend to show high retention rates among youth,” he said.
While in training, the at-risk youth will benefit from continued case management by the CSJP trained Case Management Community Officers — to reduce the possible risk of attrition fallout and loss of motivation.
For his part, Programme Manager at the CSJP Mr Simeon Robinson revealed that students enrolled in the globally recognised certificate programme would benefit from fully paid tuition, uniforms and a stipend to cover meal and travelling expenses.
He added that the group was selected in accordance with the Programme’s rigorous risk assessment protocols and are regarded as a medium to high risk, ranging in age from 20-29 years old.
He said the intervention programme would help to fight crime by facilitating behavioural and character building among the group.
The Youth Empowerment Training Initiative (YETI) is part of a broader programme embedded in the Ministry’s Five Pillar Crime Reduction Strategy with a specific focus on Crime Prevention through Social Development.