The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank) is actively contributing to nation building through youth empowerment by providing on-the-job experience and training for young persons to gain employment in corporate Jamaica through its internship programme.
In January 2015, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica reported an increase in the Labour Force from January 2014 by 1.2%. Conversely, it was reported that the unemployment rate amongst youth also increased by a similar margin over the same period. This conundrum of youth unemployment is further exacerbated by the prevailing employment paradox where employers want to recruit young persons with fresh ideas but often include in their criteria that applicants must have a total of at least three years’ work experience. The obvious question that follows is, “How can such experience be garnered without said employment?”
The EXIM Bank has answered the call to address this issue through its revolving Internship Programme which has employed a number young persons.
“We saw this need as another opportunity for us positively impact Jamaica’s development by investing in our young people and equipping them for meaningful positions in society. We designed the programme to expose these young persons to key work areas in a way that helps them to discover their innate talents and strengths and in so doing realise their full potential. ”, commented Mrs. Stephanie Murdock, Manager for Human Resource & Administration.
She also added that “EXIM Bank is making a deliberate effort to change the culture of employment in Jamaica. We take pride in fulfilling our corporate social responsibility and I am urging other companies to join us in the effort to create more opportunities for our youth”.
In addition to this, the Bank also runs a secondary Summer Employment Programme that provides for the short-term employment of high school and university-aged students. Both programmes combined facilitate the annual employment of some 40 young persons, most of whom are experiencing the world of work for the very first time. The main purpose of the internship programme is to provide mentorship, growth and development for participants who are deployed across various departments in the Bank including, Marketing, Finance, Information Technology, Risk Management and Human Resource.
Since its inception, this revolving programme which has equipped young persons to function effectively in the corporate world, boasts a high success rate with a number of the participants moving on to secure senior roles in corporate Jamaica.