Twenty-seven young men and women in St James have been equipped to take up well-paying jobs in commercial/articulated truck driving, having successfully completed a six-month training programme.
The young people graduated from the Articulated Truck Driving Programme (ATD), which is spearheaded by the Ministry of National Security in collaboration with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), HEART NSTA/Trust and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).
The programme aims to prepare individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to operate articulated and combination vehicles to include trailers, trucks, buses, delivery vehicles, for-hire and other commercial vehicles.
Upon successful completion, participants are awarded a National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certificate, and for those who do not have a driver's licence, they will receive a general driver's licence.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the Caribbean Military Academy's (CMA) Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute (CMTTI) in Montego Bay last Thursday, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said that the Government is focused on creating opportunities for unattached youth across the island.
"This is the type of youth engagement this Government is deeply committed to expanding, to offer our young people not just strong law enforcement, but far more. That's where we are putting more funding and that's where we are using our intellectual strength to create the kind of opportunities necessary to reach as many of our young people," Chang said.
He said that several of them are from challenged communities and need access to opportunities to reach their full potential.
"This [programme] was one designed to provide an alternative to the young people who wanted to have a positive way of life; to be honest, hard-working and live a decent life," he stressed.
The ATD training programme targets unattached youth in western Jamaica and Kingston. It is one of several initiatives by the Government to give hope to the youth and to provide them with the opportunity to earn through legitimate means.