In Guyana, poverty and a lack of positive options have trapped many young people in a cycle of unemployment, crime, or prison. But what happens when youth, many of whom have been incarcerated for minor offenses, are given the skills and opportunity to succeed? Working in support of the goals of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, EDC is implementing the USAID-funded Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) project to reduce youth crime and violence through targeted alternative sentencing, work readiness training, entrepreneurship development, and livelihood coaching.
SKYE works with youth from some of Guyana’s most impoverished urban and rural communities. The project’s activities include the following:
- Conduct a labor market assessment to identify sectors that have the potential for employing youth
- Identify existing youth services via a participant mapping activity
- Develop curricula, toolkits, and/or training designs in the areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship, and coaching
- Provide 6–12 months of one-on-on coaching to each participant, which includes support to create and follow an Individual Livelihood Plan
- Increase the use of alternate justice and legal diversion options for youth within the juvenile justice system
- Collaborate with the Government of Guyana, local nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to advance project objectives
- More than 1,800 youth have completed workforce or livelihoods preparation trainings.
- 700 youth are receiving new or better employment as a result of participation in workforce development activities.
- 70 youth have started their own businesses.