Jamaica has launched a technology advancement program with the aim of training more than 1,000 young people in information and communications technology (ICT) over the coming months.
The training program, overseen by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, will start in January 2018. Broadly designed to bridge the digital gap in the country, the program also aims to help trainees land a job at an ICT company.
The program will offer a ‘golden opportunity’ for the country’s jobless youths and college graduates, reported the Jamaica Observer, citing Dr Andrew Wheatley, the island’s Technology Minister.
“The initiative will not only empower young people, but will revolutionize the use of ICT in Jamaica,” the Minster said after launching the program.
The training will take place in community access points, which are internet browsing centers set up across the country by the Universal Service Fund. Reports from the island suggest the government is planning to provide basic and advanced IT skills to the students.
The program is funded by the Universal Service Fund and is being implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Maritime University. The university will train and certify the participants at the end of the one year program.
Over the past five years, the Caribbean country has been equipping its citizens with a wide variety of IT skills, from basic computer operation to software development, programming, and animation.
It even borrowed loan from the Caribbean Development Bank for its UTech Enhancement Project, designed to persuade more students to pursue STEM education. But the number of STEM graduates is still far and few between in the country.