A further appeal has been issued by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, for employers to sign on to the Job Start Plus Initiative to help the country’s youth gain workplace skills and experience.
The call came last Friday as the Minister addressed the first cohort of youth who received certificates for participating in the pilot training of the programme, in the Lecture Theatre, 1st Floor Warrens Office Complex, St. Michael.
Urging employers to recognize their responsibility to the young people of the country, he said: “The employers of Barbados have to partner with government. I think it is a moral responsibility to partner with government in providing opportunities for young people. What we are asking for today, and we have asked for this over the past few months, is for placements for young people between the ages of 16 and 24.”
He added this would allow youth, including those graduating from training, the opportunity to gain the 12 months of work experience.
The Labour Minister further noted that the appeal was being directed to all businesses, and not-for-profit and civil society organizations. And, he stressed: “We want this programme to be at the level where we can accommodate all young people who after leaving educational institutions and are unable to find work. I say that against the background of our belief that once the projects in the pipeline get going, then the unemployment rate will decline.
“However, between now and then, we do not want young people to be in a state of drift. We have a responsibility to you as a government; corporate Barbados has a responsibility to the country and to you as residents and citizens.”
Job Start Plus is one aspect of the island’s National Youth Employment Programme. It targets youth between the ages of 16 and 24, and is designed for those who are not in employment, education or training. It is expected to train and work with some 3,500 of them annually.
The Ministry is hoping that skilled tradesmen, craftsmen and artisans would come forward and participate in the initiative, as well as those in non-governmental, civil society and community-based organizations.
The areas of interest include, among others, agri-business, arts and craft, automotive, food and dining, general services, professional services, information and communication technologies, cosmetology, transportation, health and the building trades.
For further information from the Human Resource Development Implementation and Monitoring Unit, interested employers may contact Orville Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 535-1453; Moreen Bowen at email@example.com or 535-1452; Carlon Kellman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 535-1449.
They may also email Erika Watson at email@example.com or call 535-1451. They may also submit correspondence to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, 3rd Floor, West Wing, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.