POSTED May 30, 2022
How we are connecting youth with rewarding job opportunities in Nicaragua
Our country director shares how building partnerships between sectors is necessary to help youth access more career opportunities
By María Isabel López, country director, Nicaragua
I’m encouraged by the good work connecting youth with jobs in Nicaragua. It’s much needed as so many of our younger generation have a difficult time landing and keeping a full-time permanent job at an organization that practices gender equality.
So, I’m thankful for the launch of a partner program with Nestlé called Young Culinary Talents (YOCUTA), a culinary-arts training initiative. YOCUTA offers lessons on creating a strong resumé, training for job interviews and tips on personal branding as well as internship opportunities.
Youth with a passion for cooking have found a way to fulfil their dreams of becoming a chef in this training program. Such is the case for Flor (pictured), a young woman who has been pursuing culinary arts for three years. “I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to be able to find a job,” she says.
Meanwhile, our EMPUJE (Youth Employability: Closing the Gender Gap in Youth Employment in Nicaragua) project is also helping 12,000 young people (7,500 women) find fulfilling careers, with a focus on closing the gender gap in youth employability.
The five-year initiative, funded by the Government of Canada, has become an opportunity for thousands of young people to access life-skills training, business skills and technical education through collaboration with various partners, including the National Technologic Institute, civil society organizations and private enterprises (big and small).
The EMPUJE project is also giving young people a chance to build their leadership skills and access professional training. Some have become peer mentors and are learning to overcome gender barriers and stereotypes affecting women’s inclusion in the labour market.
And, soon we will be launching a virtual platform to connect employers with potential employees. It will be a place where young people, who are part of the EMPUJE project, can access job opportunities, internships, courses, training and networks, all in one place.
We have called the platform Krezco (I grow). The name, proposed by youth we support, reflects their aspirations to continue advancing towards their dreams and life goals.
In our organizational model for promoting youth employability, strategic alliances, such as the partnership with Nestlé, are fundamental to connecting youth with the private sector and opening doors to internships, training programs and new jobs.
Combine that with improved access to gender-responsive technical education through EMPUJE, and it will be possible to reach more young people, encouraging them on their path to employment.
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