6 Nov 2012: Barclays Bank and UNICEF renew youth skills building partnership in Zambia
LUSAKA, Zambia, 6 November 2012 – Barclays and UNICEF have renewed the Zambia component of their highly-successful global “Building Young Futures” partnership for a further three years.
The partnership that was launched in 2008 is aimed at giving young people improved education opportunities and financial, employment, and enterprise skills. Over 600,000 young people across 13 countries benefitted from the first phase of the partnership. The launch of phase two in Zambia will see a total of US$1,697,400 being invested over the next three years with US$1,470,000 coming from Barclays.
“Barclays Bank believes in empowering communities. Our citizenship strategy focuses on the next generation – the age group between 10 and 35 years – and how we can empower them with the skills they need to achieve economic independence and security. The first phase of the Building Young Futures partnership was extremely successful, with 1,750 young people benefitting in Zambia, which is why we are excited and proud that Zambia will be part of phase two of the partnership,” said Saviour Chibiya, Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Zambia.
“I have confidence that this partnership will yield the desired results, contribute to national development and have a lasting impact on our communities. As a partner, we are also delighted to contribute to the government’s quest to increase financial literacy which in turn brings about development in our nation,” said Chibiya.
More than 50 per cent of Zambia’s population is under 18 years old and many do not learn vocational or entrepreneurial skills in the country’s education system. The lack of education and skills continues to disadvantage young people, especially women, looking to enter the workforce.
The primary project objective of Building Young Futures is to broaden the career opportunities for vulnerable young people and enable them to compete favourably in the economy, either through formal employment or starting small-scale businesses. A total of 1,750 Zambian youth at 13 Youth Resource Centres (YRCs) directly benefited from the skills training during phase one. The second phase of Building Young Futures aims to benefit 74,000 disadvantaged young people directly in Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda, and Zambia. The programme will build on previous work to provide the skills, knowledge, and confidence young people need to get into work.
UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa said, “UNICEF is very pleased to have cooperated with the Ministry of Gender and Child Development and Barclays in implementing this innovative programme to ensure that the most vulnerable youth have better job opportunities.”
Over a three year period the second phase of the project will aim to reach 4,500young people and provide them with enterprise, financial, and life skills knowledge through the ‘Get Ahead’ training that enables them to have better future prospects socially and economically.
Three thousand young people will be supported with follow-up business aid that will be supported by Barclays staff who are employed in Zambia and who will serve as mentors. It is hoped that at least 1,500 young people will be hired through new jobs.