The Ministry of National of Security signed a contract with the National Training Agency (NTA) on Monday to conduct a job skills programme that will provide training for hundreds of young unemployed Bahamians; an effort which is being touted as a new approach in the fight against crime, said Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.
“Today’s contract signing is an excellent demonstration that government fully understands the connection between unemployment and crime,” Dames said.
“Government remains concerned about the rate of unemployment in the Bahamas, in particular the high rate of unemployment among our young people.
“We realize that employment is one of the elements used to address crime and poverty. An effective job training programme that focuses on employability skills greatly increases an individual’s chances of gaining and keeping employment.”
The contract signing, held at the Paul H. Farquharson Conference Centre, marked a major milestone in the progress of the ministry’s Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).
The CSJP is an expansive multi-faceted crime and violence prevention initiative of the Ministry of National Security, funded by a $20 million-dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The contract signing makes way for the start of the pilot training program which will commence October 22, revealed Dr. Dorcas Cox, CSJP Project Manager.
The programme will result in the certification of 260 eligible trainees over a 12-week period.
The first four weeks will focus on soft skills while the remaining 8 weeks will train participants in hospitality and retail skills.
“The programme’s overall objective is to contribute to the increase of safety and security by improving behaviours for non-violent conflict resolution, increasing employability and employment of vulnerable youth, strengthening institutional capabilities of justice services and reducing the recidivism rate among the incarcerated,” Dames noted.
Gadville Mcdonald, Executive Director, NTA, revealed that the 12-week program will focus specifically on providing training in hospitality and retail services.
“We understand that greater opportunities exist now in hospitality and the retail sector where individuals who are at risk can receive proper training and transition, almost immediately into a position, so that is the idea behind the programme focusing behind hospitality and retail at this particular time,” McDonald said.