There are 148 million youth in Latin America and the Caribbean between the ages of 15-29; 32 million of that population is not working and not in school. Youth unemployment is three times higher than adult unemployment. A 2011 Manpower survey of 40,000 private companies across Latin America and the Caribbean exposed that 50% of LAC companies struggle to find qualified employees. According to the Cisco Networking Skills Gap study demand for Latam professionals with Internet working skills was set to outstrip supply by 27% in 2010 and the demand-supply gap for IP telephony, network security, wireless solutions, and network administration professionals was estimated to be 35%.
Latin American and Caribbean youth should be driving regional growth, but education systems and youth training and placement initiatives are not able to combat the massive youth unemployment problem facing the region.
NEO as the solution
New Employment Opportunities (NEO) is a bold undertaking to train one million disadvantaged youth in Latin America and the Caribbean and achieve job placement for 50% of those trained.
As of its April 2012 launch, NEO has raised 37 million in cash and in-kind resources. MIF, IDB, and IYF will jointly lead design and implementation of the program which also aims to involve 1,000 companies offering internships and employment opportunities, 200 job training providers, hundreds of NGOs, civil society organizations, and governments. Should Your Company Join NEO?