NEW STRUCTURE, NEW STRATEGY
At the beginning of 2014 YUTE embarked upon a dynamic two year Growth Phase, complete with a new governance and leadership structure: a new Board of Directors, management team and an exciting new Strategic Direction.
Improve the numeracy, literacy, technical, employability and social skills of young people living in inner city communities leading to life-changing experiences
To intervene in the lives of at-risk youth and produce graduates with the values, skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as adults
SERVICE – helping others to become their best selves
PASSION – loving who we are and what we do
INTEGRITY- being our word
INNOVATION – creating without boundaries
EXCELLENCE – exceptional by habit
The new structure featured the adoption of YUTE by the ICD Group, and its housing in the Group’s Corporate Headquarters, with continued support from both private and public sectors and from international partners. Our new strategy has been designed for enhanced effectiveness in today’s competitive, high-tech, globally integrated world. It is critically aligned to specific labour market demands, and embraces both traditional and non-traditional sectors. It features effective strengthening and streamlining of our most successful existing programmes, as well as a number of new initiatives and pilot programmes.
GROUNDBREAKING INCEPTION PHASE
YUTE Phase I, 2010 – 2013, featured the inception of Jamaica’s largest and most creative initiative to empower unattached youth in troubled communities, and to tackle both high youth unemployment and high levels of crime. This was a collaborative effort by members of the Jamaican private sector, led by the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), headed by its then President Joseph M. Matalon. YUTE’s holistic goals were, and still are:
- Improving employability for young men and women ages 16 – 29 years, through skills training and education;
- Increasing life skills through mentorship and counselling, and
- Providing opportunities for gainful employment through work experience and job placements
By December 2013, a total of 1616 participants had been enrolled and impacted over the three-year life of Phase three years, 2011 – 2013. During that Phase, more than 2,600 training, coaching and/or job placement opportunities were provided, as well as 850 employment opportunities. Meanwhile, 514 young people received remedial or pre-skill training and 383 received skills training. In addition, 470 participants received entrepreneurship training, and 80 at-risk youth received intensive social intervention. A key element of the YUTE Programme is Mentorship, and during Phase I, more than 600 volunteer mentors were trained and matched with participants. Of these, 533 mentor/protégé relationships were managed.
PHASE II: CAREFUL ANALYSIS, CREATIVE SOLUTIONS
The design of the new Strategic Focus for YUTE’s current Phase 2.0 has been informed by critical lessons learned during the Inception Phase. Careful analysis identified eight serious challenges; relevant strategic solutions have been formulated and are now being put into action. The following chart, “Lessons Learned From Phase I”, details YUTE’s creative responses to these challenges.
Under the dedicated leadership of ICD Chairman and Past PSOJ President Joseph Matalon, the new YUTE Directors and team members have spent the past year honing and enhancing existing YUTE programmes while developing and delivering a unique blend of innovative new programmes. The focus has been on providing training, internship and job opportunities in both traditional and the non-traditional industries, and facilitating creative self-employment opportunities as opposed to entrepreneurship formats. This has included exciting new forays into the burgeoning Jamaican film and multi-media sector, a pilot project focusing on the international multi-tasking industry, innovative expansion of our flagship YUTE Build Programme, and a number of special projects and meaningful new international partnerships.
During 2014, a total of 443 young Jamaican men and women residing in more than 33 marginalised communities in the Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine benefitted from YUTE Phase 2.0 initiatives. Of these, 260 received skills training, life skills and employability training; and 58 benefited from remedial education. Paid internships were arranged for 158 participants, and 21 gained permanent employment. The retention rate among participants rose from an average of 64% in Phase I to an average of more than 90% in Phase 2.0.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
A major boost to the vital additional support provided for all participants will be YUTE’s merger with Jamaica’s premiere Mentoring Programme, the 24-year-old Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), which will be formalised in early 2015. YUTE’s merger with YOU, a process which took many months of legal and logistical work during 2014, will see YUTE acquiring the intellectual property and assets of YOU to be able to deliver the a very high quality mentoring programme to our protégés.
The year 2014 also saw the team working on the upcoming administrative merger of YUTE with the MultiCare Foundation. The merger will build collaborative efforts to bolster the effectiveness, efficiency and viability of both organisations. With a common charge to promote youth development through the delivery of youth-focused programmes and services, as well as a common parent company, the ICD Group, the two charitable organsations will benefit from combined governance, leadership and management; combined programmatic partnerships and administrative resource sharing The enhanced effectiveness and sustainability of these two important entities, due to come into fruition in mid 2015, will be well worth the many months of intensive work.
SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS
Fundraising continued to be a critical “must” during the past year, as we continued to lobby for new and continued support for our life-changing programmes and projects. We are deeply grateful for ongoing major financial support from the ICD Group, the National Housing Trust, Jamaica Money Market Brokers Limited and the Joan Duncan Foundation; the Victoria Mutual Building Society, the Australian High Commission, CitiFoundation, and PetroCaribe Development Fund. We are also humbled by our many other sponsors and countless supporters, our dynamic partners at home and abroad, and the private and public sector employers who provide invaluable grooming for YUTE’s protégés through apprenticeships and jobs.