The JET Project will Train Youth in Relevant Digital Skills to Close the Employability Mismatch in Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica – November 8, 2022. In an in-person event, The Trust for the Americas with the InterAmerican Development Bank Lab (IDB Lab) celebrated the official launch of the project “Unleashing the Potential of Jamaican Youth through Empowerment & Training,” known as JET.
This project is an initiative designed by The Trust for the Americas through the Democratizing Innovation in the Americas (DIA) Program and implemented thanks to financial support from the NCB Foundation, Microsoft, Citi Foundation, and the IDB LAB, as well as the leadership of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), the Caribbean School of Data (CSOD), and the Ministry of Education and Youth.
JET used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify employment market needs in Jamaica, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the United States. JET’s training is now tailored to the current market opportunities to ensure the participants have the digital skills required to get good entry-level jobs in Jamaican firms and government agencies.
Participants at the event included Linda Eddleman, Chief Executive Officer of The Trust for the Americas; Rodrigo Iriani, Senior Manager of the DIA Program at The Trust; Sudaney Blair, Operations Associate at the IDB office in Kingston; Nadeen Matthews-Blair, Chief Executive Officer of NCB Foundation; Colonel Martin Rickman, Chairman of the JET Steering Committee; Imega Breese-McNab, Executive Director of the Private Sector of Jamaica and Yanique Williams, Senior Director Youth and Adolescent Policy Division at the Ministry of Education and Youth.
Mr. Michael Lee-Chin, CEO of Portland Holdings and a Member of the Board of Directors of The Trust for the Americas, stated, “The Trust for the Americas has provided Jamaican youth with training since 2017. As a Board member of The Trust, I have witnessed first-hand the organization’s commitment to our young people's success. I am delighted that the Trust will continue its good work through its new project Unleashing the Potential of Jamaican Youth through Empowerment & Training. A stronger Jamaica is a product of our empowered youth.”
At the event, Nadeen Matthews-Blair, expressed, “There is no shortage of brilliance in Jamaica, but most of what is missing are opportunities. So, at that time, we started on this journey to help Jamaicans without tertiary education opportunities get access to skills because our fundamental philosophy is that to build a better Jamaica, you have to build the people. JET is what all of this is about; it is education, with special focus on skills that are high in demand globally.”
In her part, Linda Eddleman, CEO of The Trust, commented, “The Trust for the Americas has been operating for the past 25 years, and one of our principal goals is to provide skills to young people and access economic opportunities. All of it has been worked through alliances, which is why the JET project is an excellent example of partnerships. We have representatives from all sectors committed to supporting youth in finding 1200 jobs of the future.”
Digital technologies continue spreading rapidly. Jamaican employers, therefore, are demanding sophisticated digital skills from their employees. But many otherwise capable Jamaican youth have yet to have an opportunity to develop those skills. JET is addressing that gap. This project seeks to train 1.200 young innovators in Kingston and St. Andrew within three years in relevant digital and employability skills areas and provide 500 with three months of relevant work experience. In addition, it will offer entrepreneurship opportunities, business mentorship, seed funding, and networking opportunities to Jamaican youth who are successful in the program. It is expected that many thriving participants in the program will be able to develop the skills necessary to transition into the future of work, capitalize on freelance opportunities and apply innovations to creating new businesses.
“Unleashing the Potential of Jamaican Youth through Empowerment & Training” is working to fulfill the UN Agenda 2030 development goals listed below:
#1: End Poverty Consistent,
#4: Quality Education
#5: Gender Equality
#8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
#10: Reduction of Inequalities
#17: Partnerships for Goals
About The Trust for the Americas:
The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., Colombia, and Canada.
More information: www.thetrustfortheamericas.org
About Democratizing Innovation in the Americas (DIA):
DIA is a regional initiative of The Trust for the Americas that was launched to foster innovation and empower new generations through access to technology training, specialized curricula, collaboration spaces, mentorship, and financial resources for social and economic ventures.