CARICOM to Launch Initiative to Reduce Youth Unemployment & Promote Entrepreneurship

This issue, for many CARICOM nations, is of critical importance, given that many have linked the reality of high youth unemployment with the high crime rate amongst young people of all regional states.

In order to help address this dilemma, CARICOM has developed what is called, “Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunities, (CEBO) and in so doing is in the process of finalizing a special manual to guide planners.

This initiative is being handled by the Youth Desk at the CARICOM Secretariat, and according to a recent statement, they are close to completing the manual that will be used to equip young people throughout the region with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to successfully run a business.

Much of the content and activities in the manual were fine tuned during a February 8th to 11th workshop that was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts. Participants included Marcia Brandon of the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), John Roach of the Dominica Youth Business Trust, Senior Youth Officer in St. Kitts  Pierre Liburd, CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Dwayne Gutzmer and Kerry Chen of Jamaica, Ian Richards of SKNIS, and CARICOM’s Deputy Programme Manager for Education Patricia McPherson.

CARICOM’s Deputy Programme Manager for Youth Dr. Heather Johnson, who chaired the meeting, described the sessions as “productive” and noted her pleasure with the contributions from the participants.dgkh

CEBO is the CARICOM Secretariat’s response to the issues raised in the report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (CCYD) which highlighted that the region has the highest rate of unemployment for persons under the age of 30.

The instructional document was first developed in October 2011, when members of the public and private sector and civil society agencies throughout the region convened at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. Some of the information included in CEBO has been adapted from the BYBT manual.

The final draft of the document is due in the coming weeks and officials plan to test the CEBO manual in St. Kitts and Nevis.

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