Solution: Job Link-Up is an initiative targeted at young people from the ages of 15 and 24 who are considered ‘at risk” of remaining unemployed. Within the framework of this initiative, “at-risk” refers to those young persons who, due to particular socio-economic factors may experience greater difficulty in finding a job and integrating into the job market; thus they are considered to be involuntarily out of work.
Goals and objectives: Job-Link Up is aimed to engage “at-risk” youth to strengthen personal development and employment skills, improved chances for employment and opportunities for further education and thus, to reduce their interest to participate in deviant behaviours.
Implementation: in 2009, the Department of Youth and Culture launched the Job Link-Up initiative that has been running since then.
For this initiative, those considered ‘at-risk’ must exhibit 3 or more of the following “hindering” factors:
- non-completion of high school;
- personal disability;
- current or past health and or substance abuse related problems;
- the individual is a single parent;
- low levels of literacy and numeracy;
- English is a second language;
- regular contact with justice, probations, child welfare or social assistance systems;
- homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless;
- inadequate social supports (family, friends or community supports);
- poor self-and/or behaviour management.
Each young person attached to the programme is assisted in developing action plans that plot their entry into the workforce. These action plans includes individual counselling, group counseling, job shadowing, mentorship, job placement, academic and skills training coupled with ongoing personal development sessions.
The concept behind Job Link-Up is that by completion of each programme cycle, participants would have been fully integrated into the job market. Each programme cycle runs for 6 months and targets 15 at-risk youth per cycle.
Young people accessing the Job Link-Up programme must be referred by a select group of referral agencies, through the ‘Job Link-Up Referral Form’. These agencies are:
- The Departments of Social Development, Probation and Education
- Her Majesty’s Prison
- The Youth and Community Development Centers
- Community based organizations
All decisions concerning acceptance to the initiative are made by a management team. After reviewing the forms, an initial short list of potential clients is made. These clients are then interviewed. The clients selected to commence a cycle must:
- Be between the ages of 15 and 24 years on entering the programme.
- Possess at least 3 or more of the stipulated ‘at-risk’ factors.
- Demonstrate willingness to commit to the completion of the programme.
- Demonstrate willingness to positively adjust his/her lifestyle.
The following remuneration is provided to clients attached to a workplace:
- Clients from 17 to 24 years old receive a minimum monthly stipend of EC$1000.00 (USD368.00)
- Clients ages 15-17 (school aged) are only attached to a work place for the maximum of 16 hours a week. They receive the minimum weekly stipend of EC$80.00 (USD30.00)
Remuneration is provided to clients along the agreed ratio: Department of Youth and Culture 60%; and the agency of employment 40%.
Achievements: From the inception of the programme in 2009, Job Link-Up has assisted seventy-five (75) young persons. Of these persons, five percent (75%) successfully completed the programme and approximately forty- five percent (45%) have gained fulltime employment.
From the experience gained through this initiative, some participants have ventured into their own small enterprise. In addition to gaining fulltime employment, reviews have shown that participants now possess greater self-confidence, have enhanced social skills and are making a more meaningful contribution to their communities.
Partners: The Departments of Social Development, Probation and Education, Her Majesty’s Prison, the Youth and Community Development Centers, churches, Community based organizations
Budget: The Job Link-Up Programme, which runs for a six (6) months cycle has an annual budget of EC$56,601.41 (USD20, 833.00).
Anguilla Department of Youth and Culture
Bren K. Romney, Director
Telephone: 264 498 3792
Fax: 264 497 7999