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KINGSTON, Jamaica; September 03, 2018: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says his Ministry provided temporary employment for approximately 2000 youths this year, at a cost of $53 million, through summer internship programmes at the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). This was the largest number of interns to ever participate in the programmes.
The Minister made this announcement during the TEF Summer Internship Awards Ceremony, held recently at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston.
During his remarks to the 250 students in attendance, he went on to explain that “the investment was one of the best elements of investments that the ministry has engaged in for this budget year, because an investment in human capital, in the enhancement of human capacity, is perhaps the best investment that could ever be made.”
The TEF internship programme welcomed 650 summer interns in 2018, which is a 5.7% increase from last year’s numbers. This year, 87 companies signed on, which also represents an increase of 13%.
The ceremony highlighted interns who excelled in the programme, as well as others who were offered permanent and part-time jobs, upon the completion of their studies.
According to the TEF, 5 interns received permanent job offers in institutions such as the Jamaica Observer, Stand Up for Jamaica (SUFJ) and Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa. Three part-time jobs were also offered, as well 10 contract extension requests.
The TEF’s annual summer internship programme objective focuses on youths from ‘at risk’ communities by providing hands on work experiences, to allow interns to assimilate the correct appropriateness and work etiquette and most of all to provide financial aid.
It also supports goals outlined in Vision 2030, by targeting youths between the ages of 16 to 25 years who want to be a part of “Brand Jamaica”, providing them with skills, knowledge and employment during the summer period.
“What is going to make Jamaica a truly strong nation, is not the amount of FDI that we get or the amount of factories, hospitals or police stations we build. What will make us a strong nation is our ability to transform the knowledge that we have into material things,” said the Minister.