Four young professionals from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the MultiCare Youth Foundation are now Passport-to-Success (PTS) Master trainers through an initiative by the New Employment Opportunities for Youth (NEO) Jamaica.
PTS equips young people ages 15 to 29 with the skills that help keep them in school and are in high demand by employers. At the core of the programme is an 80-module curriculum developed and refined by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) over the past decade. Today, PTS has been adapted and delivered in 30 countries and is available in 19 languages.
NEO Jamaica’s mandate is to provide life skills training for persons through executing agencies across the island who will then teach the PTS soft skills.
Abbigayle Grant and Dahlia Green of the labour ministry and Sharlene Brooks and Tameka Thorpe of the MultiCare Youth Foundation are the first PTS master trainers in the Caribbean. They were selected from among Trainers who attended a PTS workshop in November of last year, and demonstrated an excellent track record.
They play a key role in the NEO Jamaica’s multiplier effect strategy and long-term sustainability through their responsibility of training Trainers.
In welcoming the training, Alicia Glasgow Gentles, Executive Director of The Youth Foundation, the executing agency of NEO Jamaica, said “PTS training has been adapted to build young people’s skills in a variety of formats and settings, including public and private secondary schools, vocational technical institutes, colleges, businesses, and youth-serving non-profit organisations.
“What’s more, the training of these professionals contributes to the longevity of the programme. With Master Trainers available locally, we are able to implement workshops whenever and wherever necessary – without having to wait on overseas trainers” Glasgow said.
Dena Adriance, Consultant for IYF and Master Trainer Facilitator added, “These four young ladies are the first to be trained as master trainers in the English speaking region outside of the United States. That speaks volumes for the NEO Jamaica initiative in Jamaica and the possible impact for the wider Caribbean.”
Before certification, trainers receive 30 hours of in-depth life skills training, including hands-on instruction on the implementation of experiential teaching methodologies. To ensure mastery of the material and training techniques, trainers receive on-going support through an International Youth Foundation-certified coach over a two to three-month period as they deliver the lessons in the classroom.
Leaders in education, business, and government agree that “soft skills” training is one of the missing links contributing to today’s talent gap. However, such programming is often scattered, insufficient or non-existent, leaving too many young people unprepared to get and keep a job. The Master Trainer workshop is a critical tool to ensure a robust programming of soft-skills training.
The International Youth Foundation in conjunction with NEO earlier this month hosted a three-day Master Trainer PTS workshop for professionals from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the MultiCare Youth Foundation at the Medallion Hotel in St Andrew.
The four new master trainees then went on to conduct their first ‘Train the Trainers’ sessions the following week, September 18-24.