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Nestle needs YOUth Initiative delivers on youth development promise

Published:Wednesday | July 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Shawna Kidd (standing) - corporate communications and consumer services manager, with intern Othneil Williams (left), of the University of the West Indies, Mona and other participants in the Nestle summer programme.

Twelve students from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTech), have been selected to participate in the Nestle Needs YOUth Initiative, aimed at helping young people to develop their career skills.

The initiative which forms part of the company's summer programme aims to improve the work readiness of students, enhance their skill sets and abilities, providing them with the tools they need to successfully join the labour market.

Twenty-one year old Carlton Brown, a final year student at UTech said it was a great opportunity to be working at an internationally recognised company such as Nestle.

Brown is studying Computer Science and has been placed in Nestle's Information Systems and Information Technology Department.

"I was a Supligen baby," Brown declared. "I hope to get valuable job experience that will increase my skills set. I plan to learn while I am here. It is my first Information Technology job and it has added to my excitement of being here," he said.

Nestle's objective is to provide 10 direct jobs and generate 45 indirect jobs for youth from skills training schools and other tertiary institutions across multiple functions within the organization by 2018.

The company will also offer 50 internships, ambassadorships and trainee positions to youths under 30 over the next three years. These persons once completed will be equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to better prepare themselves to find formal jobs, if Nestle cannot directly hire them.

Also through Nestle Professional business organisation, 10 youth from the HEART Trust/NTA and UTech will be pre-selected to complete a three month trainee programme. They will work alongside renowned chefs and gain technical as well as business competence skills to accelerate their development.

The Nestle Needs Youth initiative was launched on May 20th at the University of the West Indies with more than 500 youth present. As part of the programme, Nestle has pledged to offer more than 1,500 youth aged 18-29, the opportunity to get skilled, get hired, get support and get more opportunities.

According to Shawna Kidd, Corporate Communications and Consumer Services Manager, Nestle' s commitment to youth in Jamaica is part of the company's global Nestle Needs YOUth initiative.

"The youth of today are the entrepreneurs and future of tomorrow; I feel proud and privileged to be working with a company such as Nestle helping to make a difference in the lives of youth, putting them on the right path to a brighter future," Kidd said.