The programmes conducted by the Ministry of Youth have received a passing grade from Minister, Stephen Lashley.

In his remarks at the inaugural graduation ceremony last weekend for the various programmes, Mr. Lashley pointed out that the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), the Youth Mainstreaming Programme and the Endless Possibilities job attachment programme had made great progress in youth development since their creation.

???Between January 2010 and December 2014, the YES programme has assisted 21 businesses to generate in excess of $10 million in income in Barbados,??? he reported.??He added that through the YES, 52 new businesses were started and 378 existing businesses were expanded. The YES Programme also assisted 1,271 clients in specialised services, he noted.

Mr. Lashley stated that the Youth Mainstreaming Programme, which was launched in 2008, had also seen positive results, with 622 persons graduating during the last financial year. He explained that the programme was undertaken in partnership with several educational institutions, including the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.

Highlighting the successes of his Ministry???s five-month job attachment and mentorship programme, Endless Possibilities, the Minister reported that 40 per cent of all participants were retained for full-time employment. ???We have seen attitudes changed and self-esteem rise as a result of this programme,??? Mr. Lashley boasted of the programme, which is conducted in partnership with 40 companies across the island.

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