A Positive Youth Development Approach to Youth Employment in the Caribbean

Henry Wallice Charles is an experienced international youth development specialist. He has also gained wide experience as a policy and strategy advisor, learning facilitator, and international development practitioner. His research interests include youth policy development and youth employment.

This paper is a contribution to March 2015 edition of the EU‐LAC Foundation on Youth Employment. This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the EU- LAC Foundation. 

Youth employment, remains among the more vexing development challenges for the Caribbean (Council on Hemispheric Affairs, 2013). Very much in sync with global trends, issues related to unemployment and under-employment disproportionately impact young people in the Caribbean. (...) Further analysis of youth unemployment in the Caribbean also reveals that in most countries young females are dis-proportionately impacted and that teenagers between the 15-19 age group are five times more likely to be unemployed. (...) Evidently, Caribbean Governments are confronted with the daunting task of crafting sustainable youth employment policies and integrated workforce development strategies Unfortunately though, too many of the policy initiatives and strategies seem ad-hoc, dis-jointed and unsustainable. (...)

The time has come for Caribbean Governments to consider a positive youth development (PYD) approach to youth employment. (read paper)