Some members of the SPC led Youth at Work initiative. Photo credit: Development Policy.

Some members of the SPC led Youth at Work initiative. Photo credit: Development Policy.

Over 2-hundred youths have graduated from the SPC-led job internship program that sought to tackle youth unemployment in Honiara.

Youth at Work started in June 2012, and was reported as successful in its work to engage youths in employment and give them practical work experience.

Speaking to SIBC News after the Graduation ceremony yesterday, Coordinator of the SPC In Country Office, Mia Rimon says 40 percent of the youths that pass through the program are still working.

“A thousand three hundred youths have passed through this programme and of that thousand three hundred, 40 percent are still in employment. We have conducted a study to track down every youth who graduated, so I have very high hope for the graduating class today, about 250 of them that will become productive members of our Solomon Islands society.”

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands SPC Coordinator said, communities from where the youths come from in Honiara and Guadalcanal have reported they have seen changes in the youths attitude and behavior since they joined the program.

A total of 2-hundred and thirty-seven youths graduated from the Youth at Work Program yesterday.

They included 109 young men and 128 young women from community groups in Honiara and in Guadalcanal.

Meanwhile, speaking at the Youth at Work Graduation ceremony, Undersecretary for Peace, Unity and Reconciliation Betty Fakari says, the Government places Youth Peace building and development programs as a high priority.

“…in that youths must be recognised that they are vulnerable to our peaceful coexistence if they are not properly harnessed to participate, empower and build their capacity, to understand the important prerequisites to economic development, which will subsequently have positive spillover effects, particularly in providing employment and part of a productive labour force in Solomon Islands.”

Youth at Work has worked with over 1300 youths in the last two years since the program started in the country.

SIBC News understands, 197 of the youths who graduated are already in internships in various companies and Government Ministries in Honiara.

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