Jamaica support youth employability

Published on Monday, November 16, 2015

Jamaica support youth employability

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has recently approved a NEO project in Jamaica. One is part of New Employment Opportunities for Youth (NEO), a regional youth 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, Fondation Forge, Microsoft, SESI, and Walmart.  

The Jamaica NEO Model

Through the regional NEO initiative, the public and private sectors as well as civil society are collaborating to improve the employability of one million poor and vulnerable youth in Latin America and the Caribbean.   The Jamaica model, in particular, will improve connections between the country’s productive and training sectors to provide 10,000 poor, vulnerable, and low-income youth 17-29 years old, half of whom will be female, with the skills required in the labor market, and increase the reach and quality of youth training programs and employment systems. It will also strengthen 11 training and employment centers, training 90 professionals to provide services including teaching methods tailored to young people, job placement services, and strengthened life skills. Additionally, 100 companies across Jamaica will participate in the program and will benefit by employing 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 initiative will begin in the construction, logistics, and tourism sectors, identified as high-growth sectors with an unsatisfied demand for qualified personnel in the country. The project has a total budget of US$9.3 million, of which the MIF will contribute US$1.2 million in a technical assistance grant.

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. Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) is the executing agency. 

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