By George Mangula
Standard Chartered Bank Uganda in partnership with their NGO partner Challenges Worldwide have today launched the scale-up of the Youth to Work (Y2W) programme worth Ugx 920 Million.
Youth to Work is a flagship employability programme which was launched last year as part of the Futuremakers by Standard Chartered programme. Futuremakers is the global initiative driven by the Standard Chartered Foundation (SCF) and has the objectives of tackling inequality and promote economic inclusion for young people focusing on three pillars: Entrepreneurship, Employability and Education.
In 2019, the Bank and Challenges Group worked together to pilot the approach in Kampala with fantastic results, including 70% of the cohort receiving job placements!
During the virtual launch, Albert Saltson, the CEO Standard Chartered Bank Uganda said;
“We know these are challenging times with adverse negative impact on communities and businesses, especially youth and Small and Medium Enterprises as a result of the Covid pandemic. We have stepped up as Standard Chartered with an investment of Shs920 million towards the Youth to Work programme to further demonstrate our support and leadership.”
Saltson added: “We are confident that by availing young graduates with an opportunity to gain invaluable experience in Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs), we will not only drive positive change for the enterprises that will participate in the programme but to the youth as well. What’s more, the programme not only intends to provide the skills necessary for young people but is also inclusive, providing for people with disabilities to fully participate.”
The Y2W programme structure follows a management consultancy approach as well as incorporating youth skill development. Graduates are enrolled into intensive training on key business consultancy skills using accredited training from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) before being placed into Small and Growing Businesses where they can develop their training in real-world environments, supporting the enterprises and being supported by Challenges.
This achieves two key objectives: It improves the participating SGBs’ operational efficiency; helps young people demonstrate their value to these enterprises
After the placement in SGB’s is done, Challenges continues to accompany them via youth network and ecosystem strengthening activities and 3 months of follow-on support.
Challenges CEO and founder Eoghan Mackie stated that; “There has never been a more important time to safeguard the future of small businesses, the lifeblood of economies all over the world. And there has never been a more critical time to show the power of young people and the role they can play in contributing to the reconstruction process. In the wake of Covid-19, this Futuremakers programme will act as a beacon of hope and a practical demonstration of how we can move forward step by step together.”
While unveiling the 2020 Y2W programme, applications for the programme were declared opened with effect from 30th September 2020 for Uganda.