Career training, employment opportunities for disabled youth

MelvinSmith-1Kingston, Jamaica — Starting next month disabled youth across five parishes will receive career and personal development training and be exposed to employment opportunities under an empowerment programme being undertaken by the National Youth Service (NYS).

The programme, which is aimed at disabled people within the 17 to 24 age group, will be launched in Kingston and St Andrew this November. By December it will be implemented in the parishes of Clarendon, St Catherine, St James and Westmoreland.

Melvin Smith, executive director of the NYS, said under the programme participants will be exposed to life and survival skills, character development, volunteerism, cultural awareness and career planning.

He said that participants will be placed on a three-month supported work experience and will have job coaches who will work with them and participating companies to ensure that both the requirements of the employers and the needs of the disabled are met.

“We also have worked closely with the Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities and we got quite a lot of information and insights from them in terms of the kinds of modalities and training and development that work for youth,” said Smith, who was addressing a Statistics Symposium in Kingston on Wednesday.

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