77 Youths Graduate Workforce Development Programme

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Seventy-nine youths have completed nine months of training under the Volunteer Youth Corps Incorporated’s (VYC Inc.) ‘Workforce Development Programme’

The initiative is a component of USAID Funded “Community Family and Youth Resilience Programme in Guyana”

According to Chief Executive Officer of the VYC Inc. Goldie Scott, under this programme the VYC received a grant in 2008 under Creative Associate International. “The programme aims to reduce risk factors associated with crime and violence by increasing employment opportunities for at-risk youths between the ages of 16 and 29,” she said

The youths who graduated were from four communities, East La Penitence, lodge, East Ruimveldt and Sophia. Of the youths trained 52 percent were females and 48 percent were male. 58 percent of the youths completed high school while more than 18 percent were school dropouts. Also, 86 percent of the youths were unemployed while a few had minor offences.

“The programme designed was intended to take a holistic approach, it offers a holistic package to empower youths with soft and hard skills while addressing directly their livelihood needs,” Scott said.

The training involved a provision of employment readiness training for two months and the remaining seven months there was a collaborative partnership with the Government Technical Institute to provide participatory competency training for technical and vocational skills.

The next phase of the programme will focus on job placement and this has already begun.

Deputy Chief of Mission USAID Mark Cullinane in brief remarks noted that the CFYR program benefits young people by strengthening family and community support systems to create alternatives to involvements in violence. To date, the programme has trained 385 youths while 93 have been placed in employment.

“Today’s graduation is an excellent example of government and the private sector working together to support and uplift Guyanese youth and solve broader development problems,” Cullinane said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Action INVEST Caribbean INC Vishnu Doerga encouraged the graduates to push forward in their personal development and left them with this helpful tip: “if you focus on what you want in your future all of it is possible,” he said.

Principal of the Government Technical Institute (GTI) Renita Duncan said the institution is proud to be part of the collaboration and noted that the students will be issued with a Statement of Competency by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.

“We work assiduously amidst the challenges to ensure that we surpass the mark to have over eight percent of our students completing the programs,” the GTI Principal said.