Bermuda’s Youth Employment Strategy Report

June 3, 2022 | 0 Comments

[Updated] The Government has released the Youth Employment Strategy Report, which they said “aims to address unemployment by facilitating greater opportunities and educational pathways for all young Bermudians between 18 – 26 years old.”

“In an effort to address the current and future demands of the labour market, the Ministry of Economy and Labour has developed a strategy to ensure that our young people are prepared for the current and future world of work,” the report said.

The 32 page Youth Employment Strategy report follows below [PDF here]:

Update: Minister of Economy and Labour Jason Hayward delivered a statement on this in House of Assembly today.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to present to this Honourable House Bermuda’s National Youth Employment Strategy.

Yesterday, I hosted a Press Conference at the Bermuda College alongside the Director of Workforce Development and the Executive Director for the BEDC, to announce the Strategy. These two represent some of the key stakeholders that will be essential in executing this strategy. Today I will elaborate in more detail to this House the goals of the Youth Employment Strategy.

Mr. Speaker,

It is often said that our young people are our most precious resource. They are the future of our country. This Government has committed to and will bring about changes for the benefit of our youth.

As highlighted in the 2021 Speech from the Throne and the Economic Recovery Plan, the Government made a commitment to meet the identified needs of young persons between the ages of 18 and 26. Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Economy and Labour in collaboration with several other Government departments and youth led organizations, are launching the National Youth Employment Strategy.

The Youth Employment Strategy aims to address unemployment by facilitating greater opportunities and educational pathways for all young Bermudians between 18 to 26 years old. The comprehensive strategy will ensure that our young people are prepared for the present and future world of work.

Mr. Speaker,

The Youth Employment Strategy aims to synergise all stakeholders and leverage existing mechanisms in place to prepare our young people for career and financial success. And in so doing, we will achieve the following nine goals.

Goal #1 strives to ensure that young Bermudians are suitably qualified and positioned to take advantage of job opportunities within the local labour market. The first goal is to increase local training opportunities and promote pathways to securing employment. Achieving this goal includes the implementation of two strategic initiatives.

The first strategy includes analysing labour market data to ensure training opportunities align with current and future demands. The second includes partnering with internal and external organisations to validate training programs and fill the gaps in high demand occupations.

Goal #2 aims to increase access to young people transitioning into the workplace. The second goal will expand career support services from high school to early employment.

Achieving this involves ensuring that workplace readiness training and career guidance is provided from high school to early employment.

Goal #3 will enrich the pool of local talent. The third goal is to support, promote, and encourage Bermudians to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, otherwise known as STEAM. These types of jobs meet the rapidly changing demands of our labour market.

The demand for professionals with interests and academic backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics is growing in Bermuda as more creative and tech-based job opportunities become available across various industries. To ensure the local labour force remains competitive, the Government encourages young people interested in S.T.E.A.M to explore the opportunities available locally.

To achieve this, we will support and expand the current number of training opportunities and ensure funding is made available for STEAM-related educational pursuits.

Goal #4 will ensure that a greater number of young people receive relevant work experience and better prepare them for gainful employment. The fourth goal is to expand apprenticeships and internship opportunities.

The strategy is to work with employers and look within the public service to expand apprenticeship and internship opportunities. We will also launch a campaign to educate employers and human resource professionals on the benefits of trainee schemes and apprenticeships.

Goal #5 aims to increase public access to the relevant labour market information and career opportunities.

Accomplishing this goal focuses on sharing relevant labour market information in clear, easy-to-understand formats using various communication methods that reach a broad section of the public.

Mr. Speaker,

Goal #6 is to encourage and foster the development of future business owners in our community, especially amongst our young people. The sixth goal is to support and promote youth entrepreneurship.

Our strategy includes the continued support of organisations that provide services for young entrepreneurs, expanding programmes to promote entrepreneurship among young Bermudians, and giving business mentorship opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

Goal #7 aims to improve pathways to employment and promote support services for vulnerable youth.

Many vulnerable young people with no employment or educational pursuits can benefit from assistance to overcome barriers to employment and access to the labour market. These youth often have vulnerable backgrounds and face multiple obstacles to successfully entering the workforce. Improving the support offered will increase their level of preparedness and benefit the greater community. We will provide specialised services for young persons requiring additional support to achieve this.

Goal #8 will encourage young employees to realise their social and economic potential. The eighth goal is to revise policies to improve social protection for young people.

It will involve reviewing our labour legislation to ensure our youth have specific protections in the workplace, which include:

  • Racial and gender disparity;
  • Abuse of volunteer work;
  • A statutory minimum wage; and
  • Offering financial support to those in need.

Lastly, Goal #9. The ninth and final goal is to facilitate the repatriation of young Bermudians by encouraging them to return home to work, live, and participate in the local economy.

Mr. Speaker,

The Department of Workforce Development will spearhead the implementation of the National Youth Employment Strategy.

During the pre-consultation process, our internal and external stakeholders indicated they are excited and willing to support the development and launch of the Youth Employment Strategy. Some of the work to be completed by the Department include modifications to the Bermuda Job Board, which allows the youth to register for career opportunities, and executing the career mapping process, which is anticipated to be labour intensive.

Mr. Speaker,

In closing, this Government remains committed to providing opportunities for young Bermudians so that they may develop the ability and desire to guide and lead our country’s path into the future. I urge everyone to review Bermuda’s Youth Employment Strategy, available online at the Ministry of Economy and Labour on gov.bm.

Thank you Mr. Speaker.

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