Current Affairs

Current Affairs



Students hail summer employment programme
Observer Reporter
Tuesday, September 03, 2002


STUDENTS who took part in this year's Summer Employment Programme are lauding it for giving them the opportunity to distinguish themselves while gaining worthwhile work experiences.

The programme, administrated by the National Youth Service (NYS), aims to find meaningful summer work for high school and tertiary level students in government and private sector organisations.

Avreen Reid and Ravi Sittol were beneficiaries of summer jobs where they distinguished themselves as model employees for the future.

A second year student at the University of the West Indies (Mona), 22 year-old Reid was employed as an assistant placement officer at the NYS head office in Kingston.

She was responsible for assisting with the placement of 1,700 students in organisations in Kingston and St Andrew. She had to match students with locations that were close to their home addresses, to reduce the money they spent on transportation. "The NYS helped me to build up my confidence, carry out responsibilities and honour deadlines," Reid told JIS News in an interview.

"It's nice to know that young persons had a chance to come in and work. It's a good programme," she added.

Rebecca Braham, supervisor at the Moneague People's Co-operative (PC) Bank in St Ann where 16 year-old Sittol worked, had high praises for the youngster.

"He is punctual, hardworking, trustworthy... and as far as customers are concerned, he has the touch," Braham said. "He is flexible and is an excellent performer. We would be happy to have him back. He has such a pleasant personality. He is very jovial."

A student of Meadowbrook High in Kingston, Sittol, who lives in Moneague, credits his success on the job to using tips gained at the NYS' orientation sessions.

"Dressing for work, punctuality, my behaviour with respect to co-workers and seniors are some of the aspects of the training sessions that helped me and will remain with me for life," he told JIS.

A devout Christian, Sittol advised young persons who would like to benefit from the NYS programme but who have bad attitudes to "leave them outside the workplace, as attitudinal problems won't get you anywhere in life".

Sittol is computer literate and during his time at the PC bank, he assisted his co-workers to solve their computer problems. He is entering upper sixth form this school year and will sit the CAPE examinations in Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Caribbean Studies. After high school, Sittol hopes to secure a place at the University of Technology.

Manager of the programme, Deanall Barnes, had high praises for all the student employees with whom he came into contact. "They were very committed to their jobs and were even happy to come to work on Saturdays,' he said. He added that their general deportment, attitude and aptitude were also excellent.

Now in its second year, the Summer Employment Programme is part of government's efforts to provide financial assistance to students and expose them to the world of work.

This year, 6,000 students islandwide received employment, an increase of 1,200 over last year. The students are paid by the NYS for three weeks and in the event that an organisation wishes to extend the students' tenure, that organisation provides compensation.

Participating organisations in the programme included, the Electoral Office of Jamaica, Tax Audit and Assessment Department, Jamaica Customs, National Public Health Laboratory and the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

The programme is funded by the government at a cost of $50 million.