U.S. technology giant Microsoft has agreed to give $1.4 million additional cash to certain organizations in Latin American and the Caribbean involved in providing technical training and job counseling for youths.
The program is a part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative designed to support youths discouraged by a lack of job opportunities. Poor education and lack of skill training has long been a hurdle for youths trying to explore employment opportunities in the region.
The Caribbean’s Guardian Media says the unemployment rate among young people is three times higher than among adults in the region, and only 50% of them finish their schooling.
The key goal of the program is to help youths secure their future by sharpening their skills and finding a job.
More than 20 Latin American countries –– including Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Mexico –– will benefit from the program.
Comunidad IT, an Argentina-based non-profit organization that provides training and job placement in the information technology sector, is also among the organizations receiving funds from Microsoft through the YouthSpark initiative.
The Organization of American States (OAS) has stated that Microsoft’s contribution will increase the number of YouthSpark centers from six to 12 by the end of 2014, and will help support more than 3,000 youths across the region.