Jamaican Youth Get Marketability Boost via New Literature
Jamaican youths are expected to see an improvement in their employability possibilities over the coming months, due in part to the recent launch of a resource guide book, “Services For Urban Youth”. This innovative guidebook is intended to bolster the efficiency of youths by filling the knowledge gaps relating to essential services, employment and health, as well as social and legal issues.
Speaking at the recent launch of the booklet held at the Olympic Gardens Civic Centre, Minister of Youth and Culture, Honourable Lisa Hanna endorsed the booklet as a useful and comprehensive resource to successfully transition young people into the formal society.
“I note with pleasure that Development Options has taken a bold step in providing a comprehensive booklet that has a lot of vital information in one place. I urge the young people of this community and others across the country to make good use of this booklet, which must be seen for what it is – a useful tool for the social and economic empowerment of our young people,” commented Minister Hanna.
Turning the focus to the wider state of youth unemployment in Jamaica which runs at over 32 per cent, way above global average of 14 per cent, the Minister highlighted the significant role of the Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) Programme in closing this gap. “The future of work and entrepreneurship is in the creative output of our people. Your own creative intelligence is now the most valuable asset in business. For me, YUTE goes to the very heart of the challenges facing the majority of young people in Jamaica today. I recognise that the Youth Ministry and indeed, the Government, will not be able to impact the lives of the majority of Jamaica’s youth if we don’t help them to access employment and the means towards sustainable business ownership,” Minister Hanna said.
Also speaking at the event was Billy Heaven, Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund who titled the YUTE Programme and the booklet as a legacy initiative. He called for the section of the booklet dealing with information on starting businesses to be expanded and become a stand-alone document. Services For Urban Youth is a gender-neutral special services booklet that deals simply with the various issues affecting youths ranging from employment, to legal, social and health issues as well as accessing essential services.
The booklet provides information for youths to function effectively in daily life and is a quick guide on how to access over 30 services and a directory to over 60 different key service providers. Its production was made possible with support from the CHASE Fund and the National Health Fund through the YUTE programme. The YUTE Programme is a 2-year holistic agenda by a coalition of private sector organisation members that seeks to increase the marketability of unattached youths in 20 troubled communities in the Kingston Metropolitan area through its employment, entrepreneurship and mentorship initiatives that equip participants with employability and life skills.