The Ministry of Youth Development, Sports, Culture & the Arts, says despite setbacks as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is continuing with plans for its varying programmes and projects.
A key focus for the ministry is that of MPower 2.0, which targets young males who are unemployed, between the ages 18-30 years. The 2020 component was launched in March and saw 300 participants registered for the new cohort of training.
The programme provides training in a number of areas including soft skills, certified direct skills, literacy and numeracy exposure, social care, counselling, social interactive activities, community sport, community projects and apprenticeship placement.
However, given the impact of Covid-19, the ministry has adjusted its implementation plan, for delivering the training sessions to the young men.
Assistant Coordinator of Youth and MPower Project Officer, Earl Williams, said despite the setbacks, the registered participants continue to be engaged via electronic platforms by their monitoring officers. “We have the supervisors using varying platforms to engage the participants, where they offer training on the various topics, one of the first topics we did was that of self-worth, who I am? So, they are working with young men.”
Williams said in preparation for the full engagement of the men, the Ministry has been assisting with establishing banking and other required accounts.
As to when a sense of normalcy will return to operations in order to fully facilitate the training sessions, that is still unknown, as the world grapples with Covid-19 and its effects.
The project officer added that the ministry remains focused on its primary objectives, towards ensuring that the men receive quality training that would ensure they become empowered to contribute to national development. “The supervisors have recommended that they have special meetings or no more than 3 persons, per session, from time to time, given social distancing protocol, to the young men are been engaged as we go forward.”
MPower 2.0 will be placing special emphasis on ensuring participants receive a Caribbean Vocational Qualification. This will be administered by the National Training Agency (NTA).
Ministry of Youth Development
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