ILO and Chamber Promoting Social Protection through Youth Internship

APIA, SAMOA – The Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) conducted an orientation training on soft skills for youth interns and university students on Tuesday 6th December at Hotel Elisa Conference. The Youth Internship Programme is purposed to provide work placement opportunities for the youth to experience the work environment, gain practical knowledge and skills in the real world, as well as exploring potential pathways for their professional careers.

The participants including 17 females and 2 males were able to learn and engage in discussions on key soft skill topics such as communications and interpersonal skills, teamwork, work ethics, time management and goal setting.

The ILO Coordinator for Samoa, Laufiso Tomasi Peni states, “One of the ultimate purposes of social protection is to ensure the right protection for the most vulnerable groups or individuals in any society.” In Samoa, half or 50% of its population are below the age of 21 years. The youth population (i.e those between the age of 15 and 35 years old) amounts to 32% of the total population. Given such a young population, the most vulnerable groups in Samoa include the youth, women, children, and persons living with disabilities. The ongoing development challenge in Samoa is the high youth unemployment and school dropouts with more than 37% of the youth not in employment, not in education, or not in training. The social protection mechanisms need to respond to address this challenge so that youth and their families are not living in poverty and are able to find decent employment and standard of living.

ILO and SCCI would like to continue this support under the SP-JP to sustain the positive progress and momentum built through previous initiatives such as the Talavou Program, Youth Employment Programme (YEP) and the Youth Co-lab. The support involves technical support and funding to coordinate and facilitate the Youth Internship Program with the primary focus on Labour market services designed and scalable in Samoa to improve working age populations’ access to jobs and incomes – with specific attention to ensuring access for women, persons living with disability, and young people.

The youth interns have been placed on a 4-week internship program throughout December with private sector partners of various sectors including restaurants, retail, state owned enterprises, car rentals, manufacturers and exporters, and professional services.