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US Security project prepares Guyanese youths for work

GEORGETOWN – More than 100 Guyanese youths have been prepared for the world of work through a project being funded by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, the American embassy here said Thursday.

The 135 youths between the ages of 15 and 24 years old graduated during the week of August 19-23, 2013, having completed a four-week “Work Ready Now!” training. The project is being funded through USAID’s Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) program. The SKYE program is part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) partnership between the United States and the Caribbean. 

USAID Mission Director, Daniel Smolka participated in a graduation event for some of the youth and remarked that “Investing in and supporting our youth is not only a compassionate, but a smart investment for Guyana’s future.  The cost of not making such smart investments places much greater burdens on society.”  Mr. Smolka also expressed the hope that “the partnerships developed through this program will be further deepened and strengthened to bring about effective and lasting change in support of the young people of Guyana.”

Work Ready Now! training transfers a set of basic employability skills, knowledge, and behaviors essential for the success of young people as entry-level workers or entrepreneurs.  This training is one of several SKYE program elements to assist youth in gaining the self-confidence necessary to find and retain employment and draws on the experience and advice of local public and private sector employers who provided vital tips for success in employment, helping to guide young Guyanese to better understand what businesses are looking for when selecting employees.

The training was implemented by the Program’s local partners: Catholic Relief Services and Youth Challenge International – Guyana.

The SKYE project will continue to work with at-risk youth, mainly males, who are school dropouts, youth who completed formal education but do not have the necessary skills to find employment, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system.  A total of 1,500 youth in regions 4, 6, 9, and 10 will receive Work Ready Now! training by August 2015.