Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, has called for Corporate Jamaica to partner with the Government to help more of the nation’s youth acquire skills and competencies as part of the development of the country’s human capital.
He was delivering the keynote address at the graduation ceremony for the CAC 2000 Foundation/Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) Air-Conditioning Technicians Training Programme at the AC Hotel in Kingston on Thursday (September 12).
Minister Shaw argued that the country’s greatest crisis was not crime but the issue of human underdevelopment.
“By far, the most fundamental crisis that we face as a country is a crisis of human underdevelopment and where there is human underdevelopment there is the alternative development programme – murder, mayhem, lotto scamming – and so we have some work to do,” he said.
Mr. Shaw noted that the example demonstrated by the CAC 2000 Foundation in partnering with JSIF to train 132 youth from communities in Kingston, St. Catherine and St. James should be a source of inspiration for Corporate Jamaica to get involved in the process of human development.
“This is the kind of partnership that I need to see, that we need to see more of in Jamaica – partnership between the public sector and the private sector.
“It’s the partnerships that can work, it’s a model that I would like to have spread across the country like a tsunami, and it has to be done with a sense of urgency,” he stressed.
The Minister, during his address, lauded the 72 graduates, who completed the five to six-month-long air-conditioning course in seven batches. There were 10 dropouts, while 50 other youth, who have not yet qualified for graduation, will continue in the programme.
The training, which falls under the Alternative Livelihood Skills Programme, is a sub-project under JSIF’s $69-million Integrated Community Development Project, which seeks to provide 3,000 youths with skills training, employability enhancement and employment.
The programme targets young people aged 17 to 29 from 18 underserved communities across the island.