Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon Audley Shaw, has lauded the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s (JSIF) Alternative Livelihood Skills Training Programme.
Under the programme, JSIF partnered with the CAC 2000 Foundation to train 132 persons from 18 underserved communities across 7 parishes in air conditioning installation and maintenance with 72 completing the training successfully.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony for the skills training programme at the AC Hotel Marriot, Lady Musgrave Road on Thursday (September 12), Minister Shaw said that “where there is human underdevelopment, particularly among our youths, they have their own alternative development programme.”
“I want to congratulate the CAC Foundation on this initiative. We want to see more of this kind of partnership between the public and private sectors. This is a model that I would like to spread across the country, which has to be done with a sense of urgency. We have to get the message out,” the Minister stated.
The Minister said, further, that the example being set by CAC should be a source of inspiration to corporate Jamaica.
“I am calling on corporate Jamaica to come on board. This initiative is a good example that can be duplicated. You can be a part of the solution for this crisis of human underdevelopment, by helping to change the lives of our youth. It is all too easy for them to be the perpetrators and victims of crime and violence. It is all too easy for them to lose hope and lose sight of what they can be; it is for this reason the Government of Jamaica has set out to give our youth an alternative,” he added.
In his remarks, Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Omar Sweeny informed that since 2014 JSIF, through financing by the Government and the World Bank, “has received this kind of partnership in developing the skills of our people.”
“This occasion today is really about partnership. We can only achieve the results that we want through partnership. We only will achieve when we invest at the base of the pyramid,” Mr Sweeny said.
The one-year course included a theoretical component that highlighted the basic understanding of air conditioning and repairs and, a practical component to gain hands-on experience in the industry.
Samantha Bailey was named top female student and, Javan Williams, the top male.