Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says the Ministry is seeking to recommit the National Youth Service (NYS) to its core mandate of engendering voluntarism among the nation’s youth, who are involved in the agency’s programmes and activities.
“What we are doing is enhancing your (youth) workforce skills, while at the same time, encouraging those characteristics of voluntarism. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence, we are going back to the core mandate of our National Youth Service, which is a volunteer programme for young people to give national service, and getting on-the-job training,” she said.
The Minister was speaking to young people at the opening of a four-day National Summer Employment Programme (NSEP) interview session, at the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPS) sports club, Ruthven Road, St. Andrew, on May 15.
Just over 5,000 young persons islandwide, have applied to participate in this year’s NYS summer employment programme, to be held over three-week periods, beginning July 2, and August 7.
The four-day interview session, which ends on Friday (May 18), will see some 3,750 persons being selected for openings in approximately 300 private and public sector entities, partnering with the NYS.
Commending the applicants on their decision to participate in this year’s programnme, Ms. Hanna urged them not to “take the opportunity for granted."
“Many persons come because they see it as merely, ‘something to do’. It’s a lot bigger than that. It is an opportunity to give back to your country, to give back to yourselves. It gives you the opportunity to get a sense of what you’d like to do in life. So, I charge you to take it seriously. This is a step in the right direction. You are making a good decision,” Ms. Hanna told them.
The Minister also urged the interviewers screening the applicants, to pursue matters with them pertaining to their personal development, in addition to the “rudimentary application questions."
“You (interviewers) play a very critical role in settling their minds and in also ensuring that the stage that is set for them going into the programme, is one that is inspiring and one that is encouraging,” the Minister said.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter