Programs to address high unemployment

The high rate of youth unemployment is being tackled through several programs including ‘Get Into It’.

So insists Youth and Community Empowerment Minister Adrian Forde, as he outlined the youth unemployment rate currently stood at 29 per cent.

He said reducing this number was being made even more difficult when many available jobs required experience, which the majority young people in trying to enter the world of work directly after leaving school did not have.

“Statistics suggest that 3,500 young persons leave school every year. Out of this number 2,800 are unemployed. If you break down the statistics a little further over 1,000 young persons seeking employment were told by the employers they needed job experience. Now the conundrum there is how can you have experience when this is the first time you are looking for a job. How can you do it unless you are going to wave some type of magical wand? So you have to give young persons this opportunity…to add experience to their curriculum vitae,” he stressed.

Forde said there were several programs, along with ‘Get Into It’ aimed at provided job attachments, internships and apprenticeships to 1,000 young people, so these individuals will be able to use this first job experience to understand what was required of them as an employee.

“The Get Into It Program will target 400 young people. The same program conducted in partnership with the Royal Barbados Police Force will target 150, the Achieve program facilitated by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational program will focus on 265 people and the Youth Business Trust will target 185 young people, making the total number 1,000,” he outlined.

Praising those businesses which have joined the Get Into It venture, Forde outlined the program would also help to address concerns expressed by organisations that young people were not being prepared for the world of work.

The minister was addressing yesterday’s celebration event at the Courtyard Marriott for 35 of the youth, who were recruited by companies focused on Retail and Logistics for the four weeks of training under the program, facilitated by the Division of Youth Affairs and Prince’s Trust International. (JMB)

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