Millennial Outlook: Addressing Challenges in Youth Employment

Location: 148-150

This conversation will focus on how the diaspora can contribute to ongoing efforts to develop job training and job placement programming for entry-level professionals and youth in Haiti.

Recent figures released by the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs list a dismal set of statistics when it comes to the investment climate in Haiti: a ranking of 182 out of 186 for ease of doing business, weak domestic production, and a depreciation of local currency by 30% relative to the US dollar. In such a setting, obtaining stable, full-time employment remains a challenge for university graduates, who struggle with high rates of skills mismatch and the fact that employers are skittish about setting up shop in Haiti because of ongoing infrastructural problems.

Efforts to improve the education system in Haiti at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels show signs of early progress. Initiatives like Nedgine Paul’s Anseye Pou Ayiti, Conor Bohan’s HELP, and Guy Etienne’s model of education at College Catts Pressoir are all aimed at addressing the quality of inputs into the labor pool.  However, no similar efforts exist to address the challenges awaiting new graduates once they begin looking for a job.

After completing this session, the attendees will be able to name skills businesses existing in Haiti or expand their operations there.  Attendees will be able to identify existing opportunities for mentorship and early career development and   discuss the potential for scaling staffing operations and replicating existing professional mentorship networks that can help provide training to address the skills gap.

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