Connecting Job Opportunities to Skilled Jamaican Youth

Continuing our commitment to providing online job opportunities to youth who most need them, the MobileWorks teamed up this week with the World Bank & others to provide job trainings for 100 Jamaican youth.

These local trainings provide us the chance to connect with youth on the ground  to learn more about the availability of local jobs, what skills are needed, and fair wages in the area.

Things we’ve learned so far on our trip:

  1. Youth unemployment is a major issue–average unemployment rate of 38.5% for youth age 18-24
  2. Youth who are unemployed have often graduated college or high school and have tangible skills. We’ve met students with skills in Photoshop; website development; app coding; customer service; etc.
  3. Even though youth have passed high school or graduated from college there are few opportunities for them to work and deploy & grow their skills

So far we’ve had the opportunity to speak with and train 60 students at the Northern Caribbean University & 40 youth in the Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE) program. Many of the students had a background in IT, computer science, customer service, marketing, among others.

In these sessions, students were engaged connecting online opportunities to skills they need to develop personally and professionally. Students often asked, “I have 3 years of customer service experience, will that help me in my application? Can I learn more about customer service as a MobileWorker?” “My dad runs a stone business. Will this online work opportunity teach me more about business fundamentals?” “I’m interested in tourism and hospitality. What can I learn as a MobileWorker?”Youth in Jamaica clearly see the link between skills and employability. The students we met were hungry for opportunities to shine. They have skills and only lack the avenue to show off and be paid for them.

During our trainings we walked youth through the MobileWorker application process and explained how our community works–join a team; make friends; ask questions; develop your skills; earn fair hourly wages.So far we’ve had over 130 new applicants from youth across the Caribbean. And we’re just ramping up with three more training sessions at the Digital Jam 3.0 conference this weekend.

We can’t contain our enthusiasm at the opportunity to share online work with so many inspiring youth and their mentors. So get ready for some amazing work coming from youth in the Caribbean!

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