Summer program brings employment boost to Jamaica’s youth

Jamaica’s Heart Trust/NTA (National Training Agency) looks to employ 25,200 young people across secondary education this year through a youth summer employment program.

The organization, which specializes in training and human resources, looks into the development of careers and business ventures. It is now setting its sights on younger people, aiming to get them into “meaningful work experience” throughout Jamaica.

Originally formed in 1982 and based across 27 different locations, the Heart Trust is opening the program to those aged between 17 and 29 alongside people with disabilities between 17 and 34. The goal of the summer program is to improve on last year’s results in which 6,000 young people were employed into work, thus empowering them to take control of their careers and seize the latest opportunities.

This year’s program comes following a merge with Jamaica’s National Youth Service, resulting in further funding. The program also has more accessibility as the requirement for a CESC (Caribbean Secondary Education certificate) has been lifted. Most applicants usually go to work for the public sector but the trust is also aiming to involve more private companies. Rayharna Wright, the senior director for community services and the youth division, said: “We have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, and a lot of their members have come on board, along with other entities that are outside of the PSOJ (Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica).”

The summer program will take place in three phases running in June, July and August.