Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 03, 2017 (SKNIS): Strategies to boost employment for young people and to enhance the quality of jobs that come to the Department of Labour are key areas that will be addressed over the next six months.

Acting Labour Commissioner, Shernel James, said that the department will receive assistance in this regard and more having won the call for proposals from the Bilateral Cooperation through the Inter-American Network for Labour Administration (RIAL).

Ms. James said she was pleased that the federation was successful in formulating the proposal that will receive support from the Department of Labour in the United States (U.S.)

“I am proud,” she stated, noting that a lot of hard work went into preparing the proposal. “It gives us a great sense of satisfaction knowing that we were able to beat out other countries from the Caribbean, Central and South America.” She said this speaks to the quality of the proposal.

The 10th RIAL Call for Bilateral Cooperation ran from January 16 to March 15, 2017 and received 41 proposals involving 20 Ministries of Labour from countries including Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, and Suriname to name a few.

Two persons from the Department of Labour in St. Kitts and one from Nevis, will travel to the U.S. for one week to observe operations of the Job Corps, which according to its Department of Labour website “is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive residential education and job training programme for at-risk youth, ages 16 through 24.”

Commissioner James added that officials will also seek to explore ways that they can boost employment for young people and also study best practices to increase the number of skilled job vacancies that are sent to the Labour Department to fill via its Employment Services Unit. The visit is expected to take place in the third quarter of this year.

Funding for the visiting team will be provided by the Organization of American States (OAS).