Approximately 500 youths are expected to benefit from the Bds$1.5m that the Barbados government has set aside for the National First Jobs Initiative.
Colin Jordan, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, during the debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure at Worthing Corporate Centre said the money will be used for the pilot project, Job Start Plus.
According to Jordan, Job Start Plus will target vulnerable youths and allow them to get work experience over a 12-month period.
“The intention is to be fair in terms of the persons who are involved in the programme. While the programme is ours, located in our ministry, we will use as part of the basis of our populating the programme, those households that have been identified as the most vulnerable, regardless of the spread, in terms of geographic spread. That will be for one of the bases, but outside of that, we will try to be fair across the board.
“We’ve recognised as a government and as a ministry that what our young people are saying to us is correct—whenever they look at job advertisement, there is the requirement for at least 12 months of work experience. Nobody gives them that 12 months of work experience, but everybody wants them to have 12 months of work experience. Many of them are caught in that vicious circle,” Jordan said.
He said the programme will assist the participants in excelling in their lifelong endeavours as it will instil discipline for the working world and enable them to be productive citizens.