Colleen Wainwright, the Head of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in the Caribbean, recently met with Robin Todd from Mott MacDonald to discuss the British Government’s new 4-year programme to support youth skills development in Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Wainwright and Todd met following the signing of a contract between DFID and Mott MacDonald, which will see the global development consultancy work with a range of Caribbean partners to deliver an exciting and innovative youth skills programme in the four countries. Mott MacDonald will now work with the government in each country to develop a detailed design for a programme to specifically target disadvantaged youth and give them an opportunity to learn skills that will improve their employment prospects.
Wainwright said, “Youth unemployment is a major issue in the Eastern Caribbean. We know that there are still a large number of youth that leave school with few or no formal qualifications. DFID will now work with governments to develop innovative ways to support these youth, through formal courses, work placements and partnerships with the private sector. This is a major initiative for DFID in the region, we will spend the next 9 months designing it properly and look to roll it out fully early next year.”
Todd said, “Mott MacDonald and our Caribbean and UK partners are delighted to be implementing this important project for the Caribbean. We have brought together a very strong team of Caribbean and international experts who understand the challenges of how to target and support unemployed youth to give them the best chance of moving into gainful employment. Now we have signed the contract with DFID, our team will start work in earnest with government partners, young people and employers to finalise the design of the initiative so that we can move quickly to implementation.”
The Youth Skills for Economic Growth in the Caribbean is one of a number of key projects that are grant funded from the UK. This sits alongside the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund, which works across eight islands in the Caribbean as well as UK projects and programmes on security and justice, climate change and disaster resilience, economic growth and public sector reform.
British High Commission in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean