An appeal has come from Prime Minister Andrew Holness for private developers in Jamaica to target young Jamaicans, especially those with minimal education and behavioural issues, for employment.
Additionally, Holness says the developers should consider helping these young persons to acquire the necessary training through institutions like HEART NSTA/Trust.
The Government has signalled its intent to target unattached youth who it is believed are being courted by gangsters, to enrol them in skills training programmes and help curtail the current labour shortages affecting several local industries, including construction and tourism.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) facility in Bloomfield, Mandeville, Manchester on Thursday, Holness shared that several changes have been made to the HEART NSTA/Trust.
The institution, he said, now has more opportunities available for young individuals to become engaged in the labour market.
“So in this project that you are doing here, I would encourage you to bring on some of those youngsters. Don’t just take them on as labourers,” Holness appealed.
“Register them with HEART, put them through a formal process of training, get them certified, and embrace them into the formal pool that is available, so that we relieve the pressure that we have been facing now in our labour market,” he stated.
The Kenneth ‘Skeng Don’ Black-led K and T Development BPO complex is being constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
The estimated cost to construct the complex is $1.2 billion, and its funding is being provided by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and National Commercial Bank (NCB).
The prime minister, during his address at the ground-breaking ceremony, lauded Black for the investment he has made in the BPO sector.
“You would have created value in the economy, (and) you would have created opportunities for other people to transform their lives,” Holness said in commending Black for his efforts.