The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has launched the second cycle of its Alternative Livelihood Skills Development Programme, a $69-million initiative is a component of the World Bank-funded US$42-million Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP).
Cycle two seeks to increase the probability of employment and improved livelihood of skilled trainees under the ICDP programme through the acquisition of advanced and introductory level skills, certification and job-readiness skills.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony for participants under Phase one of the training programme, Managing Director at JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the project seeks to, at its completion, train some 400 Jamaican youth between 17 and 29 years old.
“Under phase two of the programme, some of the areas of training are 3D animation, film production, online entrepreneurship, customer service, barbering, housekeeping, welding, landscaping and facilities maintenance,” Mr. Sweeney noted.
The graduation ceremony was held at the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica on Old Hope Road on October 26.
More than 250 young people have received certification in various skill areas, having successfully completed training under phase one of the Alternative Livelihood Skills Development Programme.
Training for the graduates was facilitated through a number of entities, namely. the Pre-University School; Institute for Workforce Education and Development (IWED); Rakul Enterprise School of Education and Technology; Trench Town Polytechnic College; the University of the West Indies film project; and Internet Income Jamaica.
For her part, World Bank Country Manager, Ms. Galina Sotirova, said the ICDP is part of the focus on building social resilience, and is a continuation of the successful activities completed under the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project, which benefited more than 60,000 people in 12 inner-city communities.
“The ICDP aims to enhance access to basic urban infrastructure and increase community safety in economically vulnerable and socially volatile inner-city communities of Jamaica,” Ms. Sotirova said. She noted that it is estimated that when the programme closes in 2020, the ICDP will have directly and indirectly benefited approximately 89,000 people across the project communities.
The World Bank Country Manager further said that the Alternative Livelihood Skills Development programme is probably one of the most important and exciting parts of the ICDP.
“It focuses on the young people of the ICDP communities and on building their skills and creating the opportunities for their meaningful productive employment. The skills gained in this programme can lead to temporary and permanent employment of the trainees,” Ms. Sotirova said.
She informed that the best results under Cycle One of the training programme were achieved by Manpower Institute for Workforce Development, where over 50 per cent of the trained participants gained temporary or permanent employment.
In addition, for the Pre-University School, which prepares students to enter tertiary institutions or the job market, 39 out of 41 participants graduated, with over 25 per cent finding work less than three months post training.
For the IWED, which offers certified courses in areas such as home management, customer service, landscaping, food handling, customer relations, office administration, housekeeping and hospitality, there was a 100 per cent completion rate, with over 50 per cent of the participants now employed.
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