Nineteen former wards of the State have been trained and certified through the Transition and Competency Programme implemented by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
The training took place over two semesters at St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College and culminated with a graduation exercise at the institution’s Old Hope Road campus in St. Andrew on Monday (Dec. 16).
During the ceremony, the former awards were presented with level one certificates of competence in the areas of Child Care, Commercial Arts and Information Technology (IT).
The Transition and Competency Programme is a component of the Transitional Living Programme (TLP), implemented by the CPFSA through partnership with The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC), with sponsorship from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It is designed to prepare youth in State care for independent living, equipping them with life and vocational skills, training and mentorship in a safe environment.
Project Coordinator, TLP, Jacqueline Anderson Morrison, told JIS News that the objective is to ensure that the young people are provided with the necessary skills they need to transition into the world of work.
“The students have done a number of courses. They have done two weeks of practicum and that helped them to garner the necessary experience, so that they are able to gain some form of employment at the completion of the programme,” she said.
Programme Manager, St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College, Arlene Baker Rowe, who supervised the students, said the educators are pleased with their accomplishments.
She said that the college welcomed the opportunity to help prepare the youngsters for the next stage of their life.
“We thought that this was an excellent opportunity to mould young minds. We are an educational institution, so taking on the programme was an additional way of us to reach young people and improve the level of education they came with,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Valedictorians Ashani Hunter and Tanice Samuels told JIS News that they were pleased to have benefited from the training.
“This programme has been a very great one for me and transformational, as the name implies. I got to interact a lot. Before, I was not a people person, but it has taught me a lot,” Ashanti said.
He received a level one certificate of competence in IT, which is equivalent to a National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) certificate.
Ashanti said he hopes to matriculate to the University of Technology (UTech) because “I want a degree relating to technology with specialisation in programming. I like it (programming) and I do bit of video game programming, which I taught myself.”
Tanice, for her part, said that having completed her training she has been shortlisted for a job as either an assistant teacher or caregiver in the Infant Department at the St. Francis Primary and Infant School, which is located beside St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College.
She said that she intends to enrol at UTech next September to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development Studies.