NEO targets employment for 10,000 youths

News post November 23, 2015

 The Development Bank of Jamaica on Oxford Road in New Kingston ONE hundred companies in the local tourism, logistics and construction sectors are expected to participate in a new initiative led locally by planning and labour authorities, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) — with multilateral funding — to employ more people. Funded under the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund New Opportunities for Youth Project (NEO), the firms will participate in a thrust to add 10,000 youths to the workforce or provide them with employability skills. The project has a total budget of US$9.3 million, of which the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) will contribute US$1.2 million in a technical assistance grant. Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) is the executing agency. The three sectors which have been identified for participation are high-growth areas with an unsatisfied demand for qualified personnel in the country, the DBJ said. The MIF, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group,recently approved NEO which is a job skills initiative led by the IDB through the MIF and the IDB’s Labor Markets Unit, the International Youth Foundation, and seven partners: Arcos Dorados, Caterpillar Foundation, CEMEX, Foundation Forge, Microsoft, SESI, and Walmart. Through the regional NEO initiative, the target is the absorption into the labour force and improved employability of one million poor and vulnerable youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the DBJ, under the Jamaican model, it is expected that improved connections between the country’s productive and training sectors will provide 10,000 poor, vulnerable, and low-income youths 17-29 years old, half of whom will be female, with the skills required in the labour market, and increase the reach and quality of youth training programmes and employment systems. Funding will also be used to strengthen 11 training and employment centres, training 90 professionals to provide services including teaching methods tailored to young people, job placement services, and strengthened life skills. The participating companies are expected to provide skilled youths with the highest job readiness skills and offering them training, internships, and job placement opportunities in pre-defined strategic sectors with employment potential. The DBJ indicates that the NEO Jamaica private-public partnership includes: Planning Institute of Jamaica; Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture; National Youth Service; Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining; HEART; The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica; Red Stripe; Hotel and Tourism Association of Jamaica; Business Process Industry Association; CEMEX; and The University of West Indies.
Published By: The Observer

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