Tue | Sep 19, 2017

PwC committed to youth - Firm providing first-time employment opportunities for university students

Published:Thursday | March 2, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Johnelle Gooden-Smith, senior associate, HC generalist, speaks with a group of students from St Hugh’s High School at the recent Career Expo held at the University of West Indies, Mona campus. PwC was a sponsor of the event and also shared career tips to students looking to transition into the work world.

Hundreds of Jamaican youth are being given the opportunity to work for PwC Jamaica, the largest big-four professional services firm on the island, following the recent staging of the University of West Indies Career Expo at the Mona campus in St Andrew.

Teens and young adults have been identified as critical to the skills and employment experiences needed for 21st-century jobs. Over the years, PwC has provided internships, job training, and continues to support diverse talent to help build a pipeline that will strengthen and enhance tomorrow's workforce.

"Investing in young adults to help provide them the opportunities they need to build their career skills makes a meaningful impact in their lives and the lives of our communities," said Martin Thame, senior manager, human capital at PwC Jamaica.

 

LONG-STANDING SUPPORT

 

Participation in these initiatives builds on the company's long-standing support of youth and young adults, and takes into account research showing paid youth employment programmes are key to keeping youth on track.

The company invests in young people as part of its broader commitment to connecting individuals to meaningful employ-ment in order to build thriving communities across the island.

... Unemployment limits income mobility

The 2015 Jamaica Labour Force Survey reported that an estimated 48,600 young people in Jamaica aged 14-24, or 37.6 per cent of unemployed persons in the island, are disconnected - not employed or in school.

This is a serious challenge that has a disproportionate impact on individuals in low-income communities, as well as on young adults without post-secondary education credentials.

The research indicates that paid youth employment programmes that connect young people to education, training and the job market can be effective tools in keeping them on a trajectory for future success.

Through its corporate social responsibility efforts, PwC, and specifically its scholarship programme, has funded the completion of final-year studies for more than 22 students. In addition, PwC has global mobility programmes that give employees the opportunity to work and live in other territories, another pathway to honing leadership skills and building a more diverse workforce. Since the inception of the scholarship programme in 2009, at least 80 per cent of participants have gone on to gain full-time employment at PwC and progress to senior roles.