At Risk Youths turn to JDF for skills training
You will see them clad in grey jumpsuits, undertaking various tasks at Up Park Camp, headquarters of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). They are participants in the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), implemented through the Ministry of National Security, and is geared towards improving providing opportunities and imparting of valuable life-skills attachment among youth.
"These interns are from several communities in the Corporate Area," said Major Dameon Creary.
"Generally, they are from the more challenged communities, those that are more often than not economically challenged," he added.
When THE WEEKEND STAR visited Up Park Camp on Tuesday, approximately 30 interns were seen sharpening their construction skills and gaining new ones. Hundreds of at-risk youths have been receiving on-the-job training alongside soldiers in the JDF's Engineering Regiment.
"Before coming to the JDF, they would have gone through some sort of skills training with the Heart Trust NTA," Major Creary explained.
"Most of them would have been certified at Level 2. They would not have had a lot of practical experience. So when they come here, we seek to make them more rounded tradesmen."
THE WEEKEND STAR caught up with an on-the-job recruit, Everton Sewell, 32, from Arnett Gardens, Kingston 12, who made much of his opportunity at the JDF.
"This training is of value to me in many ways, especially going out there to better myself in the future," he said.
"I would not be employed, otherwise. Before I came here, I didn't know even quarter of what I know now. I can do steel, and even masonry work. I've been here for about two years," Sewell added.
Sewell has aspirations of using his new skills to his benefit in the future.
"My plan for the future is to enhance my trade that I have right now to go out there and get jobs and build buildings, and even to go overseas to push it further," he said.
"I would love to work with Kier and the Matalons. The training that we get here is A class."