NEO> New Employment Opportunities for Youth
Youth unemployment is a critical issue for Latin America and the Caribbean. 32 million young people in the region- one out of every five youth - are neither working nor in school. At the same time, companies are struggling to find enough qualified workers for their job openings.
NEO, a path-breaking alliance between major corporations, the public sector, and job training service providers will expand high-impact, market-relevant job training and placement models, reaching one million youth in Latin America and the Caribbean over the next decade.
The initiative, developed by the MIF and the International Youth Foundation and launched at the 2012 Summit of the Americas, will develop multi-stakeholder partnerships throughout the region that will create employment training, internship and entry-level job opportunities for disadvantaged youth; and strengthen government programs and policies related to youth employment. The IDB’s Social Sector is playing a key role in bringing government agencies into NEO.
NEO’s founding corporate partners, Walmart, Caterpillar, Microsoft, CEMEX, and Arcos Dorados, are providing key financial and in-kind support, and are acting as leaders in engaging the private sector in the effort to create a better future for both the region’s youth and its economy.
Learn more about NEO by following #NEOAmericas on Twitter.
The Youth Job Skills and Entrepreneurship Program
The objective is to identify successful intervention models that increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth by improving their job and entrepreneurship skills. Emphasis will be placed on understanding what works, what doesn’t and why, as well as on defining the role that MIF can have in this area in the future.
The MIF will develop knowledge products to analyze and map the effectiveness and potential sustainability of the youth intervention models it has supported, as well as those developed by other public and private institutions in different countries, also identifying the existing gaps in the region when it comes to youth intervention programs.
These knowledge products will be shared with key stakeholders, including MIF project partners that work directly with youth, national and local governments, the private sector and the donor community, in order to engage them in the learning process as the MIF moves forward.
The MIF has supported programs in the following areas:
- YOUTH AT RISK: Our youth intervention programs are mainly targeted towards reaching youth at risk who are disadvantaged and most vulnerable.
- PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS: MIF youth employment projects aim to raise job prospects for youth by matching training to employer needs.
- ENTREPRENEURSHIP: MIF youth entrepreneurship programs provide business skills training, mentoring and seed capital to young entrepreneurs.
One of the MIFs most successful and popular programs is A Ganar. A Ganar is an innovative methodology that combines life skills, market-driven technical training, and sports. It utilizes soccer and other team sports to help youth in Latin America and the Caribbean, ages 16-24, find jobs or learn entrepreneurial skills. It comprises a four-phase integrated job training program in which youth transform lessons and intellectual skills, developed through sports, into marketable job skills.
Entra21, the other main MIF program, provides disadvantaged youth with employment training and job placement services so they can find decent jobs and increase their employability. Entra21 was launched in 2001 and is being implemented by the International Youth Foundation. The entra21 model features comprehensive training in life and technical skills as dictated by the needs of the labor market, internships, job placement services, and the active involvement of employers in program design and execution.