Fifty students from the Brown’s Town Community College are to benefit from $5 million in scholarships under the Government’s Access to Higher Education Partnership (AHEP) programme.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna and officials from the St. Ann-based institution, on September 11 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the awards, during a launching ceremony held on the college campus.
The students, who are pursuing courses in the key sectors of agriculture, tourism, logistics, engineering and information technology, will each receive $100,000 for tuition support.
Minister Hanna told JIS News that AHEP is one of eight new programmes being rolled out by the Ministry this financial year, through the National Youth Service (NYS), that are aimed at preparing young people to become entrepreneurs.
“We believe that we need to be training young people for jobs that will actually exist and also that we need to position them to take advantage of those things that we are going to be using for economic growth such as agriculture, logistics, engineering and information technology,” she informed.
A total of $15 million is being provided under AHEP this year to benefit 150 students attending three of the island’s tertiary institutions. Already, the programme has been launched at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland and will next be unveiled at the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) in Kingston.
Miss Hanna said the Ministry will be carrying out entrepreneurial camps and sessions with the selected young people, as the Government moves to build and create a generation of job creators.
“We have seen and have identified those areas that we can beat the rest of the world in and we have perfected them … it is therefore my responsibility as Minister to not only do things to make young people feel that they are a part of the system, but to identify how we are going to prepare generations of young people to take over Jamaica in the next five to ten years,” she said.
She stressed the Government’s commitment to preparing the country’s youth to utilize all available opportunities to move the country forward and to become “world producers that take a seat at the global table”.
“We have to create a generation of producers and we have to create a generation of job creators … My Ministry and the NYS will be working to create programmes that will redound to the best interest and to change the thinking of youths … for them to become job creators,” she said.
Minister Hanna said that by the end of the year the Ministry would have impacted some 12,000 young people, through a number of programmes and initiatives.