International Youth Foundation (IYF)
IYF invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. IYF currently works with a multitude of donors in over 70 countries. The following describes highlights from one of our programs.
The Youth:Work Mexico Initiative:
USAID and IYF launched Youth:Work Mexico to address youth challenges in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, some of Mexico’s most violent and crime-ridden communities. Working with local civil society groups, the initiative has helped create safe spaces for disadvantaged young people, strengthened and expanded after-school and summer programs and prepared Mexican youth for viable futures through self or salaried employment.
The employability model has been proven successful and by the end of the program in 2014:
Nearly 7,500 young people will have participated in youth-friendly spaces and programs such as youth camps and after-school programs, leading to a reduction in gang involvement and school repetition and desertion rates.
Nearly 2,000 youth at risk will have been prepared for work through employability programs in Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana that include job and life skills training, internships, job placement services, entrepreneurship training and small business support.
Local partners have strengthened their organizational capacity to implement effective youth programming and advocacy efforts.
IYF is pleased to continue its partnership with USAID to promote youth workforce development across Mexico and is launching a new three-year program, to be implemented in all six Mexican states bordering the United States, which will help Mexico’s young people make the successful transition from upper secondary school to the workforce.
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. IYF has been recognized worldwide for its success in forging public private partnerships for youth development. In past two decades, IYF has worked with over 300 youth serving organizations in 86 countries and has benefited 12 million young people through IYF programs.
Youth in the Caribbean Benefit from “A New Beginning”
Castries, Saint Lucia – Government, business, and NGO leaders recently joined the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to celebrate 150 graduates of the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP). The program’s emphasis on expanding economic opportunities for underserved youth through life skills, technical, and entrepreneurship training is part of IYF’s ongoing efforts to promote tested solutions to the global youth unemployment crisis.
The event was one of several graduations that have been held over the past few months to mark the culmination of this three-year initiative. Since the program launched in early 2010, over 2,640 vulnerable youth from Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia have trained for jobs in the areas of hospitality and tourism, general maintenance, and the culinary arts. More than 490 companies have supported the regional initiative by offering graduates mentoring, internships, and jobs.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Mansfield Blackwood, USAID/Barbados and Eastern Caribbean representative, described the challenges the local economy faces in light of the global recession. In that context, he noted, “CYEP has been providing youth with a new beginning and hope for a brighter future for the past three years.”
At the ceremony, Gina, a twenty-one-year-old graduate of the program described growing up in a ghetto outside Saint Lucia’s capital city of Castries and how deeply discouraged she felt about finding a job. “Months went by, there were no phone calls, no email, no success, but I had bills to pay and a family to support,” she said. After enrolling in CYEP, she says she “fell in love with the course and my hunger to learn more grew.” Motivated to learn more after graduation, Gina took an additional 12 weeks of classroom training at a local college, where she earned an internationally recognized professional certificate in food and beverage service. She now has a job at the local Sandals hotel. “The doors keep opening,” she said proudly.
Job Edwin, age 25, spoke about his flashes of anger, expulsion from school, and how he “found comfort” by joining a neighborhood gang. “I developed a temper which I simply could not control,” he admitted. A drug deal that went bad landed Job at Saint Lucia’s Bordelais Correctional Facility. Over the past two years, the program in Saint Lucia has focused its job training efforts on building up the life and vocational skills of youth in conflict with the law, including those who are incarcerated or on parole. Thanks to CYEP, Job learned to control his temper and was able to move forward in his life after being released from prison. He too enrolled in additional classes that will give him a recognized certificate in commercial food processing and preparation. “This is a dream opportunity for me,” he said. “I finally believe I am on the path to becoming a better man.”
IYF, Caterpillar Foundation, and USAID Support Employment for Young Jordanians
Amman, Jordan — Three hundred youth who completed intensive training to fill technician-level positions in several key industrial sectors of the Jordanian economy were honored at a graduation ceremony this week held under the patronage of the Ministry of Labor. Caterpillar’s EquipYouth program and USAID’s Youth for the Future (Y4F) program funded the training, which was implemented in partnership with the International Youth Foundation (IYF).
The trainings included heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); industrial maintenance; automotive repair; heavy equipment operation; diesel mechanics; and bookkeeping. In addition to technical training, graduates received an integrated package of sector-specific instruction in English and Passport to Success®, IYF’s life skills program, to equip them with basic employability and workplace readiness skills. Career guidance and job placement support for the youth are also important elements of the program.
Commenting on the partnership with Caterpillar, USAID Education Director Allyson Wainer said: “Helping Jordan achieve this ambitious agenda requires strong and effective partnerships; the joint program with Caterpillar is a great example of how organizations can join forces and open doors for our graduates to access jobs in the industrial and automotive sector.”
In attendance at the event were the Minister of Labor, Caterpillar Foundation’s Head of Training for Europe and North Africa, representatives from IYF and USAID’s Education Office, Y4F’s program partners, as well as the 300 graduates and their parents.
“The industrial, general maintenance, and construction sector is a major employer and offers a wealth of job opportunities that we seek to tap into by providing underserved youth with relevant training and internship opportunities,” said Rana Al Turk, IYF Jordan Country Director. “By maximizing the impact of employability programs, we aim to respond to high demand for entry-level positions in these sectors, while providing youth with a comprehensive employability approach that includes the technical training and soft skills they need to enhance their employment prospects and lead successful lives.”
Al Asalah Academy (LG), Automotive Technology & Industrial Automation Academy (ATIAA), and Al Quds College (as part of Luminus Group) provided the technical training. Private sector partners included the International Labor Organization, CAT Jordan, The British Council, and Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization.
These are just a few highlights from the past couple of months. For more information on IYF's programming, please visit www.iyfnet.org. Also, please subscribe to the IYF newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@iyftweets) to stay updated on the latest IYF happenings.
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) is pleased to announce a significant new partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development to promote youth workforce development across Mexico.
The new three-year program, to be implemented in all six Mexican states bordering the United States, will help Mexico’s young people make the successful transition from upper secondary school to the workforce.
The program will support Mexico’s technical high school system to better align its curriculum with the needs of the country’s growth sectors and afford graduates of these high schools with the competencies and experience needed by local companies. To this end, the program will focus on five main goals: to integrate internships into the school curriculum; to improve school-based career guidance activities; to enhance job placement services; to establish a student performance tracking system; and to create a youth-friendly online portal to employment. The program also will address gender imbalances that exist in technical fields of study and the labor market.
“By strengthening the job training and placement of young men and women in Mexico, this program will help develop a skilled workforce that is so critical to Mexico’s future economic growth” says William S. Reese, President and CEO of IYF. “It will also bring together the public and private sectors to create broad stakeholder alliances, which are the very foundation for creating lasting, systemic change.”
On the ground, IYF is partnering with three organizations that have strong ties to Mexico’s business and NGO community, as well as state and local governments. Working with Centro de Desarrollo Económico de Tijuana (CDT), Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense (FECHAC), and Fundación Comunidar will facilitate the program’s start and ultimate success. IYF’s current work in Nuevo León, Chihuahua, and Baja California through New Employment Opportunities for Youth (NEO) and Youth:Work Mexico (YWM), will give the new initiative a strong head start through existing alliances with the private sector, local and federal governments in those states.
In August, four countries joined a growing list of nations where the innovative Build Your Business (BYB) program will begin to empower youth to enter the world of entrepreneurship. The International Youth Foundation (IYF) began training classroom facilitators last month in Jordan, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda to effectively instruct young people to launch their own microenterprises.
Developed in partnership with Microsoft in 2010, the BYB curriculum provides youth ages 16 to 35 with training on the fundamental aspects of entrepreneurship. The four new participating countries join nine others in Africa and the Middle East where the program is already proving to be a valuable instructional tool. Since April of 2013, BYB has trained more than 140 facilitators from over 76 organizations in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, and Tunisia. The training is also expected to be rolled out to Botswana, Kuwait, and Morocco later this year.
Twenty-seven year old Richard Mpagi, an intern with the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs who has tried starting his own microenterprises, says he relies on the BYB curriculum as a business dictionary. “I am already considering starting a new business using BYB ideas,” says Mpagi.
Taught over a period of 70 instructional hours, BYB offers a hands-on, interactive approach to learning. Real life learning activities and in-person instruction by IYF-trained facilitators strengthen the skills developed through online or DVD-ROM modules that include games and videos. The training includes a skills and interest assessment as well as lessons in business planning, budgeting, accounting, and workforce development. The program is adapted to suit each local environment and is available in English, French, and Arabic.
“BYB is a great initiative because it gives hope to those who have been hopeless from the lack of opportunities in Uganda,” says Gerald Karuhanga, Youth Member of Parliament, Western Region. “We want all Ugandan youth to participate in BYB so they can acquire and utilize business skills necessary to improve their own livelihoods and contribute to overall economic growth.”
The Moroccan Ministry of Tourism, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), and Silatech, a social enterprise focused on youth employment, have renewed their commitment to improving the job prospects of Moroccan youth. The recent signing of a memorandum of understanding by Minister of Tourism Mr. Lahcen Haddad reaffirms the partnership and launches the second phase of the Emploi Habilité (EH) program.
As its French name indicates, the program focuses on employment and empowerment, specifically preparing youth for jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector. In Morocco, young people ages 15 to 29 represent 40 percent of the working age population, yet almost half of them are neither working nor in school. Providing training opportunities to disadvantaged youth represents an invaluable means of promoting growth and safeguarding Morocco’s future.
Nine hundred youth will receive IYF’s Passport to Success (PTS) life skills education. Carried out in Moroccan training centers, the program will include modules in individual development, conflict resolution, professional skills, health education, and entrepreneurship. PTS also offers teachers a highly interactive and refreshing new way to engage students. During its first phase (2009-11), EH engaged 139 tourism and hospitality employers, trained 795 youth, and placed 455 youth in jobs or internships. These figures represent a 57 percent placement success rate. According to Yahia Melhaoui of the Hotel Ibis Center, “It’s a win-win context. Our hotel will win by recruiting these youth as trainees or employees because they have exactly the skills we need. We will continue to recruit youth from this program. We consider them to have very interesting profiles that can aspire to sustainable progress in our company.”
The two-year program will launch in five regions and ultimately expand to reach youth across the entire country. Approximately 70 percent of participants in the program are expected to be placed in tourism sector jobs during the program’s first full year.
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. IYF currently works with a multitude of donors in over 70 countries. The following are highlights of our programming from the past couple of months.
Launched in 2011, Hilton Worldwide is funding a 3 year initiative to provide economic opportunities to youth in communities across the globe. Together, IYF and Hilton will lead several efforts aimed to helping youth achieve stability by delivering basic needs, and to discover hope through education, life skills training, and employment. The hospitality industry is a significant employer in the world, accounting for roughly one tenth of global employment - with youth making up the majority of the industry's labor force. Launched at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Hilton Worldwide released a white paper commissioned by IYF highlighting the critical role the hospitality industry plays in the creating opportunities for young people. The paper identifies barriers for youth and a call to action for how the industry leaders can open their doors to young people. The full paper can be read here.
Youth for the Future (Y4F), formerly Youth:Work Jordan, is a five year initiative that seeks to improve the life and job prospects of highly vulnerable youth in partnership with USAID, the Government of Jordan, and well-respected national and local organizations.
Now in its fourth year, Y4F continues to emphasize scaling its successful interventions and employability models to a national level. In partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Y4F focuses on program implementation and capacity-strengthening at vocational training centers and one-stop-shop career centers throughout Jordan. Over 18,000 job seekers attended the job fair hosted by Y4F and the Ministry of Labor in February 2013. More than 8,000 youth submitted applications and many were hired as a result of connections made at the job fair.
Youth:Work Mexico (YWM) is a three-year US$3 million initiative in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana to help at-risk youth stay in school, create safe spaces, strengthen and expand after-school and summer programs, and provide youth with employability opportunities.
YWM, which officially closes out this June, has to date reached 8,947 youth from Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana who have benefitted from its summer and after-school activities and employability efforts. Of these, 1,313 youth participated in a seven-week employability training workshop in 14 community centers located in vulnerable or marginalized "colonias" throughout Ciudad Juarez. An additional 141 youth participated in similar activities in Tijuana. In both cities, the program workshops combined employability training with life and technical skills training.
Launched in 2011, Hilton Worldwide is funding a three year partnership with the International Youth Foundation to provide economic opportunities in the hospitality industry to youth worldwide through education, skills training, employment, and thought leadership in youth development. As an outcome of the partnership, and in response to the growing global youth unemployment crisis and the sector’s projected growth, Hilton Worldwide commissioned a white paper from the International Youth Foundation (IYF) that highlights solutions to youth joblessness that the hospitality sector is uniquely positioned to provide.The paper was released at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Below is a short summary of the paper.
Today, young people make up a quarter of the world’s population – the largest youth “bulge” in our history. Every year, 120 million of these youth enter the workforce with big hopes – and real potential – to lead productive and engaged lives. They are, in fact, our greatest hope for renewed social progress and economic growth around the globe.
Yet the doors of opportunity are closed to more than 75 million young people who today can’t find a job – or countless more who are underemployed. Serious economic, political, and societal challenges present significant barriers that discourage and prevent youth from finding decent work. Factors that include lack of resources, inadequate training opportunities, and unresponsive government policies have driven the global youth unemployment rate to 13 percent among those ages 15 to 24.
The current size, scale, and rapid growth of the travel and tourism sector presents a unique opportunity to respond to this global youth unemployment crisis. In fact, there are few industries whose resources, expertise, and career pathways are as relevant to addressing the challenges facing young people today, and whose business and expansion relies as heavily on a trained workforce in every region of the world.
The travel and tourism industry is the world’s largest employer. More than 255 million people around the globe currently work in the sector, and by 2022, it will employ 328 million people – creating 73 million new jobs.
The paper, Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality, identifies the major challenges to youth unemployment in the hospitality industry, outlines effective ways to attract and prepare the next generation of the hospitality workforce, and highlights actions the industry can take to achieve immediate, sustainable impact.
The paper examines the real challenges that youth face in many communities where Hilton Worldwide operates. among them:
The paper argues that the industry can incorporate youth development into its business model to attract, employ, and retain qualified young employees. Through investments in pre-employment and on-the -job initiatives, the company can raise awareness among youth about the value of careers in hospitality, nurture upward mobility for young people in the workforce, and partner with local schools, training institutes, and businesses to deepen and sustain interventions. Job training initiatives, such as the one in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implemented by IYF, are evidence of how the Hilton-IYF partnership is delivering on its commitment to youth development.
In the final section, the paper identifies three actions that hospitality employers can take to help young people become employable and employed.
In response to the third call to action, IYF and Hilton Worldwide announced their commitment to develop a Youth Wellbeing Index at the Clinton Global Initative. IYF, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is turning this committment into reality.
Ultimately, the message is clear: Investing in youth is critical not just for the growth and sustainability of the hospitality industry, but also for the development and wellbeing of today’s young people and the communities in which they live.
IYF's partnership with Hilton Worldwide is just one example of how we are empowering youth to be productive and engaged citizens. For more information on IYF's programming visit www.iyfnet.org, subscribe to the IYF newsletter, like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iyfnet), and follow us on Twitter (@iyftweets).
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Director, Corporate Programs