Jyry Virtanen via web
The project as a pilot project has identified and implemented a variety of good practices and approaches to improve the access of youth to the employment through technical training and training for self-employment.
In 2016, 141 young men and women have completed following technical courses: sales assistant, accounting, secretary, mechanics, refrigeration, confectionery, assistant nurse and organic agriculture. The course selection has been made based on previous analysis of employer needs and educational offer in the project area, and will be further defined according to real employability of course graduates.
The project has designed and offered training on life skills, employment regulations and job seeking, as well as green skills to 54 youth participating to the project. The youth have reported high grade of satisfaction with the modules and Plan DR has started to offer these modules in other projects as well.
21 youth have completed traineeships with local businesses, as a part of a pilot component to facilitate the youth to gain their first working experience and to create connections with local businesses.
The projects also includes a component on entrepreneurship. A methodology adapted to disadvantaged youth has been created, and 21 youth have completed the training and receive coaching on creating their businesses. A challenge has been to find financing for youth-led small businesses.
Furthermore, the project has created a website tubeca.do, to provide information on scholarships available for study in DR, mainly at university level.
The project also recognizes the importance to include the family to the youth training and employment plans and to sensitize parents and guardians in the importance of education, as well as gender roles. Moreover, Plan has approached local and national authorities to maintain quality vocal training and youth employment issues in the agenda. For example, the project specialists have been actively promoting the inclusion of marginalized youth and youth-led entrepreneurship on the legal framework on entrepreneurship. Six project municipalities have implemented concrete actions to support youth employment, supporting local level fairs on entrepreneurship, supporting youth technical training or committing to the #UnPaísParaNiñez –agenda.
In the second year of the project, further attention has been paid to the selection of the vocational training courses, and to the interests of the youth. Instead of conducting specific courses within a community, the youth have participated with Plan’s support in courses already listed in INFOTEP to guarantee a diversity of professionals within communities.
The project communities tend to locate far from the urban city centers where most of the potential employers are located. This possesses a challenge for the participation of project youth, especially in case of internships, when the remuneration does not necessarily compensate for the transport from the communities. The project has implemented an internship model in which the project and the employer assume a co-responsibility of the costs of the trainee to open more traineeship opportunities for the youth, however, the geographical distance is a factor that in many cases will influence the employment opportunities for the project youth. In many cases, self-employment or small businesses are more realistic options for youth within communities, and are supported within the project.
The youth small businesses lack financing opportunities. While the project has been able to support youth-led businesses with seed funding in certain limited cases, and has established connections with other projects that provide similar opportunities, the funding remains to be a challenge that limits the start and scale up of the businesses.