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A new initiative from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment will see 47 young male and female inmates at the Barbados Prison Service pursuing technical and vocational training programmes at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology and the Jean and Norma Holder Hospitality Institute in June this year.

Coordinated under the Ministry’s Next Steps Training Initiative, the hybrid programme, which has already facilitated an orientation seminar, will see participants engaged in online training in hospitality, industrial and beauty therapy courses in the first phase, with the practical component being held post-release from the facility.

The four-month initiative is part of the Ministry’s suite of developmental programmes offering second chance opportunities through training and capacity building to marginalised youth.

It is projected that this initiative will contribute to the reduction in recidivism, while building individual capacity in preparation for employability and entrepreneurial opportunities. 

This is yet another initiative which the Ministry has undertaken to support the re-integration of inmates into society after release from prison, and to reduce recidivism. 

The Ministry has already developed a partnership with the non-governmental organisation, Prison Fellowship, to strengthen the capacity of inmates with a view to enabling them to create small business and entrepreneurship opportunities for themselves.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment continues to create and seek partnerships to provide opportunities for young people across Barbados.

Currently the Ministry’s Next Steps Training Initiative is a registration hub for the newly introduced Barbados Construction Gateway Initiative and continues to offer a wide range of training programmes in the hospitality, digital media, technical and vocational, beauty therapy and social service areas. Programmes are free and designed to match the needs of the country and interests of persons 16 to 35 years.

The Ministry is also very cognisant of the need to support the young people on the blocks and, to this end, the Ministry has re-activated its Block Committee and engagement with those youth has already reaped meaningful information to facilitate the delivery of relevant programming. 

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment is also feverishly moving ahead to commence the construction of kiosks in the second phase of its Building Blocks programme, while at the same time identifying sites to inform the third phase, which should commence next year.

Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment

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