Jamaica`s underprivileged rural youth will have a golden opportunity to become tomorrow`s leaders in the field of information technology.
Raymond Chavez, Vice President of Counterpart International, announced the pre-approval of a US$700,000 computer training grant that will enable low-income Jamaicans and poor communities to participate more fully in the benefits of sustainable tourism.
“One of the great needs in education is information technology and computer training,” said Chavez at a media event at the Astra Inn in Mandeville, Jamaica last week. He explained the grant, which awaits final blessing from the international development and financial institutions, will help the Sustainable Communities Foundation and Counterpart Caribbean train about 200 youth per year for entry level employment in the travel and tourism sector.
Chavez revealed that the “Jamaica Community Tourism Youth IT-Training Project” will educate young people through three intensive, three-month courses at the Astra Inn. Air Jamaica, Sandals Resorts and other private sector organizations have agreed to support the project and assist with internships and job placements so the youth can transition into the workplace responsibly.
This is a model project, noted Chavez, who is hopeful will be replicated throughout Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean. “A lot of eyes of the world are, as usual, looking at Jamaica to provide the leadership and to really demonstrate how it should be done,” he said.
A delighted Diana McIntrye-Pike, who chairs the project, was surprised by the latest news. “I am very excited about this - we know God is alive!”