Jamaican Gov’t to expand HOPE Programme
#KINGSTON, February 13, 2020 (JIS): Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is to expand the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme, in partnership with the private sector.
“I will be meeting with members of the private sector on February 14 to see how they can come on board, to create opportunities for employment and engagement for young people, where the Government will provide the training and the supervision,” Mr. Holness said.
“If the private sector could help us with the stipend and the opportunities and the areas of work, they get the benefit of the labour, while the persons who are under the programme, they [would] get the benefit of the training. So, we are going to engage the private sector to expand the programme,” he added.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a HOPE Volunteer Project event, held at Jamaica House on February 13.
Launched in May 2017, the HOPE Programme provides educational and job opportunities for young people. The initiative is targeted at persons aged 18 to 24 who are not employed or enrolled in a school or programme of training.
So far, more than 20,000 persons have been trained through the HOPE Programme.
“If the private sector truly comes on board… who knows, maybe in the first year we could add 2,000 to 3,000 more [young people] and as it goes along, between private sector and government, we could possibly be engaging, on a yearly basis, 50,000 youngsters. That would truly put a dent on this whole business of being an unattached youngster,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, he informed that the Government is now moving to build out the volunteer aspect of the programme.
Some five recipients of the Jamaica Labour Party National Scholarship will be completing 200 hours of volunteer work per year for the duration of their studies. The volunteer work will be facilitated through the HOPE Volunteer Project.
The five scholarship recipients are Daniel Meggo; Sebastian Lawrence; Nile Anderson; Raimona Gowie-Roberts; and Demar Brown.
“There is always potential for volunteering, and volunteering is such a powerful way of not just giving back or paying it forward, but it is a powerful way of learning yourself, of developing your own character and personality by giving service,” the Prime Minister said.
For his part, National Coordinator of the HOPE Programme, Lt. Col. Martin Rickman, said the objective of the HOPE Volunteer Project is to build out a cadre of young persons across the country who are more engaged in nation-building activities through their involvement in volunteerism.
He informed that the scholarship recipients will be working in various agencies across government.
“This volunteerism also provides the participants with real work experiences that can aid in their own professional development whilst you are learning the basic of skills and learning what you are doing at your various institutions of learning,” Lt. Col. Rickman said.
“The goal is to engage youth in nation-building through their participation in voluntary services, which will foster a lot more positive attitude and values towards the nation’s development and the creation of an educated population of youth across Jamaica. This particular programme is for approximately four months’ duration to achieve 200 hours of voluntary service,” he added.
Meanwhile, participant in the volunteer programme and scholarship recipient, Sebastian Lawrence, said that through volunteerism, he hopes to aid in poverty alleviation and help in the propagation of environmental consciousness.
JIS PRESS RELEASE
Millions to come from FSC
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Revenue from the Turks and Caicos’ Financial Services Sector will more than double in the next few years, if E Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister gets his way. It ‘s one of the reasons the country is investing so much capital into getting off of the EU blacklist and becoming a secure trustworthy financial destination.
“The FSC’s revenues for 2020/21 was $10.5M— the figures for 2021/22, would be about similar,” he said. He further explained that $10.5 million from the FSC represented about 2.6 percent of the country’s 408.5-million-dollar revenue. Though it increased to $14 million in the 2021/22 financial year, finance is still a small fry compared to tourism or even stamp duties but that will change, says Saunders.
“My revenue goal for the Government by the year 2029 [or] the election after the next election – is $500M. By that time, I want the financial sector (FSC) revenues to represent at least 5% ($25M). So that’s my goal for the financial sector by 2029.”
This goal, should it be met, would increase the Government’s revenue by 100 million dollars, a significant increase in spending power for local upgrades and improvements for Turks and Caicos residents and visitors.
Saunders says it’s time for the TCI to diversify its sources of revenue to make sure that what happened in the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw residents out of a job for months, will not happen again. Tourism now makes up around 80 percent of the country’s GDP. The Minister of Finance wants to push that down to 60 or even 50 percent.
Debrief on Haiti Caribbean heads visit
#Haiti, March 17, 2023 – When a CARICOM delegation visited Haiti earlier this month, conspicuously absent was the Turks and Caicos Islands despite being one of the nations most directly affected by the multi-dimensional crisis there. There is no comment, as yet from the Premier, to say why this was the case.
Still, from the expedition, CARICOM heads of Government have informed that there will be lobbying in Africa for assistance in Haiti. They say they have decided that the best course of action for the Caribbean country is to bolster the Haitian National Police and act as intermediaries with Africa and the world. The decision follows a one day visit on February 27th, and a March 5th meeting chaired by the Bahamas.
CARICOM says during the trip delegates ‘met with a broad range of Haitian stakeholders to hear their views on the way forward to a Haitian-led solution’. With that in mind it has made a decision on how to proceed.
“The Heads of Government agreed to support the Haitian National Police in their efforts to address the security situation. The focus of the Community will be the provision of training for the HNP and the provision of humanitarian assistance to HNP and the wider Haitian society, taking into account the challenging humanitarian and security situation”
It’s not clear yet where and how this training will take place. Also distinctly absent from the report, no more mention of boots on the ground from other countries despite CARICOM Member States indicating they were ready and willing should it come to that.
In addition, recognizing ‘the common historical experiences and the strong African-Caribbean relationship’ CARICOM says,
“Heads of Government also agreed to seek support from African countries for Haiti. They also agreed to work with the Governments of Canada and the United States as well as the UNDP”
Magnetic Media has reached out to the Premier’s Office to get a full debrief of the February 27th visit (led by Jamaica; including The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago) to learn of Turks and Caicos’ posture following the critical sessions.
New ASHLEY’S LEARNING CENTRE CONCERT
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – Musicians from the New World Symphony will be in the Turks and Caicos in concert next month and residents are invited to attend in support of the future of Ashley’s Learning Center.
A fairly young orchestral academy based in Miami, the New World Symphony was launched in the 1980s by 1987, Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison,Carnival Cruises founder. From the 1500 applicants who vie for a spot each year, the symphony accepts around 35 music graduates annually for training fellowships.
A select few of those graduates will be in country on April 8th headlining at the Ashley’s Learning Center concert ‘We’re all in this together’. The concert which also feature local artistes will be held at Brayton Hall on Venetian Road from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
Tickets are available ON ISLEHELP $75 PER GENERAL SEAT $125 PER PREMIUM SEAT $195 PER GALLERY SEAT – with /FREFRESHMENTS.
For TICKET RESERVATIONs you can call: 649-341-2304 or email EVENTS@ASHLEYSLEARNINGCENTER.ORG
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