All District of Columbia youngsters who wish to participate in the Summer Youth Employment program must register by May 31. This is the first year a deadline for enrollment has been set.

About 18,300 jobs are expected to be available to metropolitan youngsters. All jobs will pay $3.35 per hour.

Approximately 4,750 jobs will go to 14-and 15-year-olds who will work 20 hours a week for six to eight weeks in basic-education training programs.

Among other specialized programs, 4,500 youngsters ages 16 to 21 will be placed in training programs geared to their particular career interests; some 250 of them will be enrolled in the Vocational Exploration Program (VEP), which affords extensive exposure in a field through eight-hour days in local businesses, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. An undetermined number of 18 to 21-year-olds will work as monitors for the employment program in 40-hour-per-week programs.

Almost 15,000 persons have already registered for jobs at the 12 program centers in the District's senior high schools. The centers are at Cardozo, Coolidge, Dunbar, McKinley, Roosevelt, Randall, Wilson, Anacostia, Ballou, Eastern, Spingarn and Woodson. Individuals also may register at the employment program's central office, 222 Sixth St. NW.

For more information, call 724-8606.