ExxonMobil Guyana has provided some GYD$15 million to Specialists in Sustained Youth Development and Research (SSYDR Inc.), a not-for-profit organization, to roll out a job readiness programme in several communities across the country.
Employment Attack 102, is a summer camp geared at preparing young persons including early school leavers for the job market. Speaking at a press conference at the SSYDR office on Wednesday, Executive Director, Magda Wills explained that the overall intent is to fight ills plaguing vulnerable communities and youth.
“There are communities with problems of systemic crime that we have chosen to target as it is our firm belief that this will aid in Guyana’s fight to development, a fight that can only be won with the reduction in youth vulnerability to poverty, crime and violence,” Wills was quoted as saying in a statement issued by ExxonMobil.
Youths are being exposed to a four-week interactive training process and one week of web development training. After the training, SSYDR coaches will work with trainees to develop life plans then assist them with securing employment or other livelihood opportunities within a month of the training completion.
Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs Deedra Moe described the programme as impressive, noting the domino effect it will have.
“We cannot underestimate the value of job readiness…it is a matter of individual empowerment. This will have significant positive benefits not only for the young people who are involved but also the communities in which they live,” she indicated.
This is the third related initiative on which ExxonMobil Guyana has partnered with SSYDR. In 2017, a GYD$4-million contribution was made for job readiness skills training in the Leopold Street area in the capital Georgetown, then in 2018 some GYD$12 million was granted to support the first Employment Attack 102-Job Readiness Camp.
Close to 400 youths from Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 have benefitted so far. Meanwhile, SSYDR has indicated its intent to take this programme to hinterland communities.