Hundreds of unattached persons aged 18-35 will soon get a technological push in the right direction through an initiative of the Ministry of Science Energy and Technology.

The Technology Advancement Programme (TAP) seeks to provide hundreds of young people island-wide with training and practical experience in Information Communication Technology.

The programme, which is being spearheaded by the Universal Service Fund, will be executed over 12 months.

Speaking at Friday’s launch, Minister of Science Energy and Technology Dr the Honourable Andrew Wheatley said TAP is just one way his Ministry is helping to equip young Jamaicans with the skills needed to participate in the ever-growing global digital economy.  

“Globally ICT is a multibillion dollar industry which also enables practically every other line of business. Through TAP, persons with various levels of ICT exposure will increase their earning potential in the field of ICT whether as entrepreneurs or through gainful employment within the industry.” Minister Wheatley said. He added that the programme forms part of the USF’s mandate under the Telecommunications Act to create a knowledge based society through training for vulnerable groups, particularly young people.

Benefits under TAP will be multi-faceted, as participants will also provide much needed human resource support to the Government of Jamaica in a bid to accelerate the ongoing digitization process.

“There is a lot of data within Ministries, Departments and Agencies which we are not able to utilize as it is not in a format that makes it easy to analyse. With this information properly collated, analysed and at our fingertips, we will be able to make better-informed decisions in everyone’s best interest”

Minister Wheatley said such data can help inform policies and programmes and drive economic growth.

The Technology Advancement Programme will commence in January 2018.