The Second Phase of an initiative called the Yut Pawa Programme was officially launched on Wednesday this week.

This programme aims to equip high school dropouts in Vanuatu with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support to successfully enter the workforce.

The Communications officer and Project Coordinator of the Yut Pawa programme at V-Lab, Emma Hivo, shared insights into the programme’s objectives and structure.

“Supported by the Commonwealth of Learning in partnership with Youth Challenge Vanuatu (YCV), the initiative aims to gather 50 young individuals in Vanuatu and empower them through training, support, and skill development,” she said.

“There is a critical need for such programmes, as it is a common scenario for many young people to find themselves jobless after leaving high school.”

Ms Hivo said the programme will help provide opportunities for these youths to make something meaningful out of their lives.

Scheduled to run from June to November, the programme will unfold in three stages. In the first stage, participants will explore their passions and interests, determining whether they prefer employment or entrepreneurship. Stage two will focus on refining business ideas, assessing their potential for success, and providing support in marketing and profit generation.

Finally, stage three will offer internship opportunities to expose participants to real work environments, allowing them to gain practical experience.

Noel Steven, the Director of YCV, noted the importance of internships in bridging the gap between training and employment.

He outlined the post-training process, including performance assessments and interviews to identify areas for further development.

With a total of 50 youths selected for the programme, Hivo said the initiative targets various employment sectors, including receptionist roles, gardening, construction, childcare and more.

“The programme aims to provide participants with diverse experiences to enhance their employability,” she said.

Hivo mentioned this marks the second phase of the Yut Pawa programme, following a successful inaugural run last year, which saw 300 youths participating, with 100 advancing to the second stage. Eligibility for the programme extends to those who dropped out in year eleven or below.

Looking ahead, Director Steven mentioned ongoing alliances with organisations such as V-Lab and upcoming partnerships with the Department of Labour.

Hivo added that the training aligns with the broader framework of the Partnership for Open Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL) in the Pacific region.