Sunday 20 October, 2019

‘No work, no pay’, McKenzie tells YSEP participants

Desmond McKenzie

Desmond McKenzie

Local Government and Community Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, has warned that he will not hesitate to scrap the Youth Summer Employment Programme (YSEP) should indiscipline among the participants become a feature of the programme.

"I will not be afraid to stop the programme in the middle of the race. This country is experiencing too much indiscipline and a lot of it can be attributed to our young people. This is a simple opportunity for you to look at life differently," McKenzie cautioned.

He underscored that the YSEP is not a political programme.

"I have been getting complaints about the behaviour of some of the young people in the programme. Let me make it quite clear, abundantly clear, this is not a political programme. I don't care which mayor or which councillor recommend you for the job, it is not the mayor or the councillor who will keep the job. It is your performance that will determine whether or not you remain in the job. And I don't want you to develop this attitude as if to say, well I don't have to do anything for the money. It is not going to work that way. If you don't work, you will not be paid. And I urge you not to allow this group to be the group that gives the programme bad marks," McKenzie said.

He was speaking at the launch of YSEP 2019 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on Thursday.

The YSEP has been expanded to engage approximately 4,000 persons this year.

“We started in (2017) with 2,700, and we went up to 3,500 last year. Because of the demand on the programme and the fact that hundreds of young people have shown an interest… we are looking at close to 4,000 young people for this year,” McKenzie said.

He noted that 250 persons were recommended by entities such as the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and student council bodies.

Under the YSEP, young people are engaged at municipal corporations across the island to undertake data collection and support administrative services in order to improve service delivery and efficiency.

McKenzie said data garnered by the participants over the years has been instrumental in boosting revenue collection by the municipal authorities, particularly trade licence fees.

“The local authorities (were) able to collect in excess of $230 million in the last financial year because of (those) who have shown an interest… We are looking at close to 4,000 young people for this year,” he said.

The selected individuals will be employed for six weeks, earning $8,500 weekly, with $9,500 per week for team leaders.

YSEP participants are scheduled to participate in orientation sessions on July 22, and the programme is scheduled to end on August 30.

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