WASHINGTON, D.C.: The World Bank says a ground-breaking initiative has created thousands of jobs for young Jamaicans in the virtual global economy.
Last week, the World Bank announced that Digital Jam 2.0 – a digital job and market fair – has created employment for over 4,000 young people on online platforms. It has also established funds to support start-ups in the app economy and the commercialization of apps.
The World Bank said Digital Jam 2.0 has created several internships with leading Caribbean telecom companies, ensured offers of scholarships for winners to a Master’s program at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and created mentorship programs from national and international companies operating in the Information Technology sphere.
The World Bank said 800,000 Jamaicans are between the ages of 12 and 35, about 34 per cent of the population.
In the coming years, it said job creation will not come from traditional sectors, such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, due to competitiveness disadvantages compared with other countries due to issues of scale, the country’s insular nature, the high cost of energy and high levels of crime and violence, among other issues.
The World Bank said previous approaches to solving the unemployment problem have concentrated on skills development, but vocational education training programs have reported limited success.
According to the World Bank, Jamaica is forced to look at solutions outside of the box to handle the pressing problem of youth unemployment due to Jamaica’s fragile economy.
Digital Jam 2.0 was launched in June 2012. Two thousand young Jamaicans participated in a series of competitions enabling them to showcase their capacity, talent and commitment to spur economic growth.