For Immediate Release
Original Source – JAMPRO
Opportunities for youth in digital learning and employment initiative
Kingston, Jamaica (August 15, 2016) – Over the last 12 months, Avasant Foundation, has been implementing its Digital Learning and Employment programme in Jamaica. The programme will see approximately 120 young people being trained for jobs in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector under the Digital Youth Employment Initiative.
The project is being implemented by the American-based foundation in partnership with the University of Technology (UTech), and through support from Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO). The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Fi Wi Jamaica project, is also a sponsor of the programme.
The objective of this training is aimed at promoting skills development, and facilitating employment opportunities through existing BPO service providers. The trainees, ages 18 to 26, are benefiting from month-long courses in communications, social skills, professionalism and technology in the workplace as well as customer care. Participants also get first hand understanding of the industry through site visits to local businesses.
Already, three training courses have been held since May, and the third cohort of participants graduated on Friday (August 5), during a ceremony held at the UTech campus.
Executive Director of Avasant Foundation, Chitra Rajeshwari, informed that 28 graduates from the first cohort of the program have already been employed in the sector, while the second cohort of graduates are undergoing interviews.
“Through this training we hope to offer a better future to the unemployed youths by getting them into the workforce. We work closely with the BPO industry because they have the need for these trained youths in their workforce. We are also fortunate to get the trainers from the industry who bring their expertise to the classroom. So at the end of the four weeks training the students are ready to work in the industry,” she pointed out.
Ms. Rajeshwari said, “The programme will be expanded next year to train between 500 and 800 youths not only in the BPO industry, but also in the banking and hospitality sectors. Youth entrepreneurship will also be a significant aspect of the expanded programme.”
Vice President of Community Service and Development at UTech and Project Director of Fi Wi Jamaica, Professor Rosalea Hamilton said, “Programmes like this offer a good taste of what it takes to be excellent and to be ready for the workplace. We are very proud of the collaboration with Avasant Foundation because the university prides itself on being responsive to our community.”
Professor Hamilton continued saying that, “The program also serves to prevent youngsters who cannot afford to matriculate to universities from “falling between the cracks”, making a difference in their lives and ultimately their communities.”
Our key partners include the iTEL BPO Solutions, Xerox, Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) Tritel, IBEX and Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ).
JAMPRO supports the Digital Youth Employment Initiative by getting the industry stakeholders together, creating the connections between the companies and the programme, and also promoting the concept of impact sourcing in Jamaica; a model embraced by agency since the inception of the programme last year.
President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, lauded the programme and its vision to train hundreds of youths in the next year. She said, “We support the initiative to scale the industry and expand the pool of people who can service the outsourcing industry and also to equip at risk young people with new skills and enhance their employability. Outsourcing opens up a potential career path for them to enter a growing industry, where they will learn transferable skills and can aspire to become supervisors and managers in a global sector.”
The final cohort is currently being trained and is expected to graduate next month.
About Avasant Foundation
Avasant Foundation (AF) is a not-for-profit that empowers high potential, disadvantaged youth in underdeveloped and emerging economies through education and employment creation. AF leverages its expertise in digital employment to train youth in technology, job, and entrepreneurship skills for career success in the complex economies of today and tomorrow.