In Barbados youth between the ages of 15-24 are leaving school without any qualifications or certifications. This reality leaves many youth unprepared to enter the formal job market and further places them at risk and puts a strain on social systems and the wider society. It often leaves them with no other alternative than to seek employment or work in the informal sector, which means lower pay, no real benefits, few legal protections, and instability. As a result, many youth are unable to achieve full potential and positively contribute to the betterment of their personal circumstance and their families and end up being drawn to illegal activities.
The intention was to create an environment that allowed these at risk youth the opportunity to make good on their potential and chances at a meaningful future. A Ganar (Let’s Win or Let’s Earn) is a youth workforce development program designed to meet this need. Led by Partners of the Americas in collaboration with the Barbados Ministry of Education and financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), A Ganar has been implemented in 16 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. The program utilizes soccer and other team sports to provide youth with the training, support, and skills needed to secure a job and/or re-enter the formal education system. A Ganar is composed of four phases that focus on employability skills, market-driven technical and vocational skills, supervised professional internships, and follow-up coaching related to job preparation, search, and placement. A Ganar is one of several components of the wider ministry of Education project, Skills for the Future.
- Youth acquire job skills required by the active local labor market.
- Youth acquire the academic skills needed to be successful in the formal education system.
- Youth take measures to improve their quality of life.