Godfrey Sebaana Acting CEO Stanchart and the State Minister for Labour - Employment and Industrial Relations - Hon. Charles Engola

Standard Chartered Bank Uganda and Challenges Worldwide have launched a Shs 430 million scale-up of the Youth to Work (Y2W) phase III programme.

“Youth to Work” is the flagship employability project under Futuremakers by Standard Chartered Foundation. It is the Bank’s global initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in local communities through the pillars of Entrepreneurship, Employability and Education.

The phase III project that’s been launched will support 45 graduates directly transition into employment and training for over 600 youth within the community.

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The Youth to Work approach uses a four month work placement-based youth-led initiative to equip young people with employability skills and partner them with local SMEs to provide structured Business Development Services (BDS).

This prepares unemployed youth to become work ready, equips them with skill sets demanded by private sector and helps prepare them for work in business and/or entrepreneurship. Additionally, it is geared towards strengthening Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) ecosystems that lead to greater employment and job creation potential for young people.

The junior associates evaluate key business areas such as sales and marketing, financial management, operations and human resources. They also provide an analysis and create an action plan with recommendations for improvement, thereafter these solutions are implemented together with the SME staff.

Since the inception of the Youth to work project, the Bank and Challenges Worldwide have invested in 160 graduates that have provided business development support to 107 enterprises. Within the larger community, 402 enterprise staff have benefited from business capacity building and youth from employability, entrepreneurship, and wellbeing training as part of ‘Youth to Work’. The project has also bridged the gap between beneficiaries and ecosystem players and has held up its promise to be an inclusive programme by increasing disability participation to 11%.

Margaret Kigozi, the Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank while addressing the participants said; “As a Bank our intention is to fundamentally transform the lives of the youths by enabling them to build their own bright futures and navigate the various challenges they are faced with. This is in line with our brand promise, ‘Here for good’ which demonstrates our commitment to stand by our clients and our local communities. We will therefore continue to work in partnership with several NGOs and Government to strengthen the capacity of young people, especially girls and people with disabilities, through employability skills so we improve their chances of getting jobs and their entrepreneurship skills to empower them to start up their own businesses.”

 Mr.  Godfrey Sebaana, the Acting CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Uganda said; “We are pleased to invest an additional Ugx 430 million into the Youth to Work – Phase III Programme to support more young professionals to become catalysts for positive change in business and communities across Kampala. This is because we acknowledge that our country and indeed the world over, is reeling from the devastating impact of the pandemic, the severe negative impacts of climate change, socio-economic inequalities, abject poverty and unfair aspects of globalization. As a responsible Bank we cannot sit back and do nothing. So we have decided to take a STAND to Lift Participation by improving the lives of 1 billion people and their communities by unleashing the full potential of women and lifting participation of small businesses in our core markets by providing access to finance, networks, training young people, driving accessible banking at scale and connecting affluent clients to opportunities for making a societal impact.”

“We are also making a STAND to Accelerating Zero by reducing carbon emissions as fast as possible, without slowing development and we aim to reach net zero in our operations by 2025 and in our financed emissions by 2050. Finally, we are making a STAND to Reset Globalization, we aim to support 500,000 companies to improve working and environmental standards and give everyone the chance to participate in the world economy, so growth becomes fairer and more balanced. We also support companies in improving environmental, social and governance standards. These are our long-term ambitions for our role as a responsible corporate citizen on the issues that affect our society the most.” he said

Challenges Worldwide Programme Coordinator, Ms. Peace Amaro while presenting stated that; “The Youth to Work programme supports young people who have struggled to find employment with the skills they need to secure employment or pursue business ventures of their own. The initial pilot phase was launched in 2019 for a 6-month period to benefit 40 youths at a cost of Shs 300m and Phase II was unveiled in 2020 and benefited 120 with an investment of Shs 920 million. So in total, the Youth to Work programme has benefited 160 youth. 58% of who had transitioned into employment or entrepreneurship three months after their programme participation. Youth to Work has also supported 107 Small businesses to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.”

The State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Charles Okello Engola appreciated the Bank and development partners saying; “On behalf of the Government of Uganda, I would like to extend our appreciation to Standard Chartered Bank for investing an additional Shs 430m in this youth programme that will tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in local communities. I also commend Challenges Worldwide for effectively running this programme and transforming lives. I therefore appeal to SMEs and the young people for whom this programme has been designed to benefit, to immediately participate in the application processes for their betterment.”

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