Government to Launch Internship Programme for School Leavers

The Government will be launching, through the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), a three-week internship programme designed to serve as a ‘catch-all’ for secondary school leavers from challenged environments.

It aims to give them a fair chance of making themselves marketable in a competitive job market.

This was disclosed by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 15.

He said this outreach will cover tuition, room and board, transportation and an individual stipend of $45,000 per student.

“In all, 750 young people between the ages of 18 and 35 will be trained in three batches of 250 at the University of Technology (UTech). This Government believes in inclusivity, and I invite each member of this House to nominate 10 of their constituents for this programme,” Dr. Wheatley said.

He informed that participants will be placed in the university environment to build their confidence, proving to themselves, their families and communities that they are of worth.

Over the three-week period, participants will be trained in the areas of engineering, business, hospitality and tourism management, renewable energy, entrepreneurism, and robotics and information technology.

Participants will also receive appropriate certification for the competencies developed at the end of the programme. Top students will gain immediate entry into suitable full academic programmes at UTech during the 2018/19 academic year.

“Our vision and plan is for participants to ultimately transition to their communities to apply their newly acquired practical skills in gainful employment,” Dr. Wheatley said.

Meanwhile, the PCJ continues to support research with its $4-million renewable energy Master of Science scholarship at UTech, in addition to its $1-million funding per annum for research and development in solar energy, biomass and biofuels at the institution’s School of Engineering.

At the same time, Dr. Wheatley said Wigton Renewable Energy Laboratory continues to train members of the public in photovoltaics, and solar, thermal, wind and hydro energy, for which it is developing relevant accreditation.

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