Reid highlights reduction in youth unemployment

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, has reported that there has been a decrease in the rate of youth unemployment over the last year.

“Youth unemployment is trending down by seven per cent over the last year. More youth between 16 and 18 [years] are in education training. We've seen some 8,500 additional full-time students and 3,500 part-time, and that's very good,” Reid said.

He was addressing the inaugural Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Leaders' Summit and Youth Forum at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston today.

The minister emphasised that the ministry is determined to reduce the rate of youth unemployment further in 2018 and beyond.

Earlier this year, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) announced that the unemployment rate was at 10.4 per cent, the lowest it has been since October 2008. STATIN also stated in January that the youth unemployment rate of 25.4 per cent was also the lowest since January 2008.

Reid said he intends to build an army of skilled youth across Jamaica, because skilled workers make Jamaica more marketable

“We are now in the fourth industrial revolution, which is high-tech, and so we need now not to have an army of unskilled and untrained labour, but we will now need an army of fully trained and highly skilled persons,” he said.

The inaugural TVET Leaders' Summit and Youth Forum is one of numerous events being held as part of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information's National Careers Week, being recognised between February 18 and 23.

The week will highlight a range of career and skill-training opportunities for youth. On Saturday and Sunday, February 17 and 18, church services were held across the island to share the National Careers Week and Skills Competition message.

Yesterday there was a Jamaica Library Service Expo, which consisted of displays at each of the 14 Parish Libraries of the various career paths persons can pursue.

Between today and tomorrow, there will be a two-day National Skills Competition at the National Arena in Kingston, with approximately 190 competitors, including 36 from secondary schools, 11 from the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) and 13 HEART Trust/NTA competitors, Skills Demonstrations, Try-a-Skill, and an Innovation in Skills (InnoSkill) Competition between 13 primary schools.

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