The Government is seeking to reach out to many of the 140,000 unattached youth through the Work to Learn, Earn, Give and Save (LEGS) programme and equip them with viable skills.
According to Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, data will be gathered soon to locate the youth and engage them in training opportunities that fit their passion.
“Heavy-duty equipment is a major demand, and we have not scaled up our education system to meet these things,” the Minister said.
He was delivering the keynote address at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the HEART Trust/NTA and the Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica on January 24 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus in St. Andrew.
The agreement will facilitate the engagement of 500 youngsters at the upcoming CARIFTA Aquatics Championship 2018 in Jamaica.
Senator Reid said that although the opportunities to be provided for the youth may seem modest, they are a glimpse of what lies ahead for the LEGS participants if they remain committed to the initiative.
“Sport is another opportunity where you can have fun while you are learning discipline,” the Minister said.
Senator Reid argued that the MOU embodies the vision of the Government to foster a culture of positive youth development and participation in decision-making around activities that affect the lives of youth and facilitate economic development, focusing on entrepreneurship.
Twenty-six delegations will be in Jamaica for the Aquatics Championship from March 15 to 18 and March 31 to April 4. They will participate in disciplines such as open water swimming, artistic swimming, and water polo.
The HEART Trust/NTA will recruit, train, certify and transport the 500 youth volunteers.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said training young people in volunteerism is a “great opportunity for them to serve their country”.
“Volunteerism is an investment that has unlimited value and is one of the tenets of development and advancement in nations,” she said, in a speech delivered by Director of Sport Monitoring and Development in the Ministry, Florette Blackwood.