National statistics indicate that, in terms of job offers, the level of academic qualifications and academic achievements continues to be low. We aim to improve young people’s prospects in the region, where 80% have not completed secondary education, with more than half emigrating to the continent in search of a job. Meanwhile, it is estimated that 300,000 young people enter the job market each year and, given that the formal economy offers few jobs, these individuals are absorbed by the casual job market.
The evolution of the professional-technical education system between 2014 and 2015 was very noticeable. Public institutions offering tailored, technical training to boost employability have been few and far between, and have had a very limited impact.
In this environment, 26% of young people do not continue their secondary education, and subsequently remain in the region without work.
The district administration of Ibo does not have a commitment to advancing women’s participation in the generation of income, not even in the sectors where women have a significant and traditional presence, such as fish processing.
Women’s associations exist, which focus on techniques for saving money and on increasing productivity at work. The groups working in the fish processing industry, and in conservation, are not protected by regulations or have the adequate means from which to carry out a truly productive job. However, the women involved have a strong desire to learn, and are in need of training. Therefore, the IBO Foundation is concentrating on improving people’s employability through our strategic project, the Ibo School for Professional Trades, now consolidated as a developmental benchmark in the Ibo district. Our training has a specific focus on getting women and unemployed young people a job, by teaching trades useful in emerging economic sectors such as hospitality, craftsmanship and maintenance.
The school was set up in 2012, and relies upon certification from the National Institute for Employment and Professional Training (Instituto Nacional de Emprego e Formação Profissional, INEFP). In recent years, some 250 pupils have obtained their training certificate, with many progressing to work experience before securing a job in hospitality.
A clear example of the success of the initiative is the carpentry workshop, which has been training to young people in vulnerable situations since 2004. With a team of 40 people, it is also the IBO Foundation’s first 100% self-sustainable initiative, generating its own income to cover costs. Apprentices and staff work alongside each other, contributing to the island’s economic activity. Ten new apprentices are trained each year, who maintain their relationship with the school after they leave.