First Look

NEO Agreement signed by IDB & YUTE

YUTE | 2016-02-03 00:00:00

10,000 Jamaican youth to receive skills training and employment opportunities

Jamaica is now the 12th country to formally join New Employment Opportunities (NEO), a pioneering regional youth employment initiative in which businesses, governments and civil society in Latin America and the Caribbean are uniting efforts to forge effective and sustainable youth employment solutions. NEO is an initiative led by the IDB – through the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and the Labour Market Unit (LMK), the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the regional partners: Arcos Dorados, Caterpillar Foundation, CEMEX, Fondation Forge, Microsoft, SESI and Walmart.

Today’s signing of the technical cooperation agreement between the IDB and Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE), the local Executing Agency, represented one of the final steps leading up to the official launch of the three-year programme later this year.

NEO, short for New Employment Opportunities for Youth, aims to improve workforce quality and employability of poor and vulnerable youth in the region. Phase one, 2012-2017, aims to prepare 500,000 youth aged 16-29 years for the labour market with at least half of them being female, and achieving job placement rates of 50% for programme graduates. This first phase is also targeting capacity strengthening of 200 job service providers and mobilising 1,000 companies to offer internships and employment opportunities for youth. Ten thousand Jamaican youth are to receive skills training and employment opportunities under the project.

The NEO Jamaica technical cooperation agreement was signed by Therese Turner Jones, Country Representative for the IDB (as Administrator of the MIF), and Joseph M Matalon, Chairman of YUTE, at the IDB’s offices in New Kingston. They explained that the upcoming NEO Jamaica project will seek to close the gap between the skills of young people and market demand for qualified personnel.

Main strategies will involve linking the efforts of the main stakeholders in the fields of education/training, the labour market and youth to address these problems in a systematic and coordinated effort, and scaling up effective models to improve the quality of job service providers and the job placement opportunities for poor and vulnerable youth.

In the drive to increase the quality and relevance of the technical and vocational training programmes and employability service providers for youth, five main sectors have been identified for NEO intervention: Tourism; Business Processing Outsourcing; Agriculture and Agro-processing; Logistics and Emerging Markets such as Animation.

The NEO-Jamaica Project will involve an overall estimated budget of US$9.3 million, of which the MIF will contribute US$1.2 million (13%), while US$8.1 million (87%) will be provided by the NEO Jamaica Alliance.  In addition to regional partners, the NEO Jamaica Alliance partners are: YUTE, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, National Youth Service, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Heineken, CEMEX, HEART Trust/NTA, The University of the West Indies, Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy & Mining and the Ministry of Labour & Social Security.

The Jamaican Alliance has been working for several months on initial preparations of the Project. YUTE is responsible for representing and coordinating the Alliance of Partners and implementing its plan of operation. As Executing Agency, it is also tasked with hiring and supervising a project management unit, and Mr. Matalon noted that candidates for Project Coordinator have already been shortlisted.

Countries already participating in the NEO Project are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Posted By :Jacqueline Vickers

Company Name : YUTE

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