Initiative to improve employability for young males in disenfranchised Jamaican communities
Project STAR has partnered with Jamaican beer brand, Dragon Stout, with a view of improving the employment opportunities for at risk youths.
The partnership has resulted in the launch of the ‘Suited for Success’ programme, which is aimed at improving the employability of young men in under-served communities island wide. Held at Red Stripe’s Vibes Bar on June 12, the launch marked the first of several workshops focused on life skills training for men in areas such as grooming, etiquette and deportment.
Men from Rose Gardens and Parade Gardens in east Kingston were selected as the first to benefit from the programme, as research showed low employment rates in these communities. While programmes such as Dress for Success have targeted women, ‘Suited for Success’ was designed specifically for men, and a partnership with Dragon was ideal for reaching its target audience.
Already, participants have begun expressing their gratitude for the programme. “Project STAR gave me another opportunity to try again and to become a positive influence on other youths and make my family proud. I am happy for initiatives like this which give youth a chance to change their lives because more jobs equal less crime,” said Ackeem Tate, one of the participants.
Dragon Stout has been a pivotal contributor to building male empowerment through initiatives like its ‘Be The One’ campaign, which focuses on positive masculinity.
Commenting on the partnership, Dragon’s junior brand manager, Arnaldo Martin remarked, “Dragon has been part of Jamaica’s culture for over 100 years, and we’ve seen the positive impact the brand has had on the lives of countless men through our various empowerment campaigns”.
“For this reason, we are proud to partner with Project STAR to invest in the support, inspiration, and positive upliftment of men across Jamaica. This event aligns perfectly with our brand values, and we can’t wait to see how the attendees will soak up what they learn and use it to transform their lives,” he added.
Expounding on the programme’s goal, Project STAR’s Saffrey Brown noted that, “Suited for Success is an extension of Project STAR’s employment programme. Through this initiative, we want to remove the barriers that prevent people from being employed, one of which is being improperly attired. The programme addresses this and other issues, and we look for people ready to start making changes in their lives and we equip them with the knowledge and skills to do so.”
Project STAR, which is leading the initiative, is an intervention initiative to bring about societal transformation through targeted interventions in underserved areas of Jamaica. Apart from its employment programme, Project STAR also focuses on social cohesion and inclusion, children and family support, entrepreneurship, financial inclusion and more.
It aims to engage community members in ways they find meaningful and shape a path to create a Jamaica where everyone is valued and has the opportunity to thrive.