Nine youths graduated from an internship programme organised by the Samoa One United Nations Youth Employment Programme.
With the aim of addressing youth unemployment, eight of the graduates secured employment. Two work full time at Wilex Samoa and six work for the Ah Liki Investment Group.
United Nations (U.N.) Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Simona Marinescu, said this year’s Youth Week theme - safe space for all – promoted the providing of a platform for young people to show their full potential.
“We decided to start with an internship, we expose you to jobs, and business environments, so that you can realise if that is what you want to be whether in five years or 10 years,” Ms. Marinescu said.
“I will quote from Michael Jackson’s song which has a powerful message, he said stand up for your rights. Let us start with the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways for the world to become a better place.”
Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development Assistant C.E.O. (economic Development), Nanai Sovala Agaiava, said it is under the work plan of the ministry to provide assistance and pathways into jobs for young people.
“We started late 2016 working with the Chamber of Commerce and they remain our number partner in this work.”
“We coordinate the programme, in partnership with Chamber of Commerce, we identify the youths, we have a database where unemployed people register and we also get people that get referred to us. We also have a list of people who come through the door looking for jobs.”
“This is the fourth graduation, we went from 54 percent success rate of people securing jobs after the completing the programme to 84 percent,” Nanai said.
Anyone is eligible to participate in the programme but have to register at the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development.
“It is significant due to targeting our goal of increasing household income and at the same time reduces household expenditure. In addition to that, they are trained in financial assistance through Samoa Commercial Bank and Samoa Chamber of Commerce,” he added.