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World unemployment figures set to rise in 2013, claims UN labour agency

A record 202 million people could be unemployed across the world in 2013, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said. A record 202 million people could be unemployed across the world in 2013, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reported the guardian in January.
(Source-Picture and Introduction:The Guardian)

 

With this grim reality from a global perspective, its easily convincing that every attempt towards creating any form of employemnt that would counter this reality is indeed welcome. With a focus to youth who are greatly affected by unemployment, our ingenuity is and will be our greatest weapon. Innovation, creativity and recently "thinking without the box" are tactics every young man and woman in grad school today grappling with.

 

I'm from the school of thought that telecentres have huge opportunity for youth and women who form a great percentage of the unemployed. Digital literacy meaningfully happens within these centres and creativity and imagination could be our only limitation. If telecentres could transform into incubation centres where talent is natured and guided, where young kids can be assisted to identify their talent and alongside school they use these facilities to grow and build such talent, where women are re-skilled and equipped with skills on agribusiness, small trade, market access information provided and extension services offered to budding farmers, where handy skills like professional computer competencies are delivered e.g programming, webdesign, animation, video/audio editing, computer/mobile devices networking, repair and maintenance and ICT security among many many areas.

 

I like the approach taken by Microsoft YouthSpark which is a companywide initiative designed to create opportunities for hundreds of millions of youth around the world. Through partnerships with governments, nonprofits and businesses, we aim to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. We want to empower youth to change their world. YouthSpark followed in the footsteps of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential which aimed to give youth and women digital skills and had a resounding success.

 

Better still the approach telecentre Europe has taken is quite amazing approach to realize the effectiveness of telecentres to communities especially towards employment. The employment toolkit was undoubtedly a first. Get Online Week crowns it all, clearly these are initiatives that drive the employment agenda wide and far and are worth emulating.

Its against this backdrop that I wish to invite the community to the following discussions;

1. Which ways do you see telecentres contributing to employment?

2. Do you have a case study of telecentres that have actually contributed towards employment or a model you believe the community can learn from?

3. Any global programs you know of worth sharing on the subject?

May I also introduce Mr. Paul Barera who will be moderating discussions on this subject, Paul as you will see in his profile is a telecentre enthusiast with vast experience in operating and managing telecentres and telecentrre networks. He is the chair, NetAfrica and currently a member of the TCF board.

Lets share and learn....!

 

 

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iAssess is an innovative service that will encourage economic development, one that will also provide CeCs with a sustainable model. Under this concept, a CeC becomes an Authorized Testing and Assessment Center for companies that are looking for local talents for employment. This innovation aims to "cast the net wider" out there to tap talents for organizations' recruitment and development. This helps provide a leveled playing field and wider access for more opportunities for employment even in the farthest areas of the country through the use of ICTs and CeCs.

This year, PhilCeCNet is establishing a partnership with Behavioral Dynamics, Inc. one of the longest-running assessment centers in the country, and Learning Rhythms Development & Consulting Services, a pioneer in the use of ICTs in learning & development. PhilCeCNet will soon be launching a Web-based Assessment System, where CeCs can be involved in providing on-line testing for employment.

Jimmy, this is quite interesting and has potential of replication elsewhere, youth are able to be released to the market place sure that they will deliver quality through this approach. Thanks for sharing!

Digital Media Creation for Self Employment at Telecentres could be a new strategy for telecentres. Local people increasingly becoming digital with mobiles and access to social networks creates higher value market nitches.
Telecentres can provide employment to volunteers to create digital media with a commercial/community value on shared revenue basis. The new HD DSLRs can make a Telecentre a digital film/tv drama maker. Initial investment is high, but good quality digital media can generate digital/mobile revenue. Ring tones, Music Videos, Teledramas always about the talent. In rural areas talents are many. Digital Media should be an important part of Telecentre curriculum.

We have a project going on with 100 youth from two Telecentres collaborated to produce a totally digital short film during school holidays. Now plans are underway to create a 12 episode Telefilm which can generate digital revenue and employment for film crew and cast. Creativity and ICT has always been married. They help make innovations. The advantage is local resources, community support and no travelling outside.

I totally agree with you Niranjan, telecentres being digital centres, digital media creation can perfectly happen, many youth are also exploring and discovering new things and can be great with design if given the skills. This is an area that can provide a great stream of income for the youth. Self employment can be realized as well through this approach.

Local content creation is also a great revenue stream and so are the short films.

Cleopa, that record 202 million people in Unemployed across the world in 2013, per your ILO stats, has always staggered me. And it is not the ILO's only scary stat, but which collectively ought to be a wake-up call for Communities everywhere. Although it is not a cause for dispondency either, it is however a call for most urgent concrete action. The time for talking is long over as we all know.

So who will lead that response in the Community? That surely must come this time from the Third Sector, probably as led by community-branded Cooperatives and Social Enterprises generally. Afterall, the Telecentres have the toolkit availability within their concept and so are best placed locally to lead their Communities across that crucial digital divide bridge, though much remains to be done here. Local Telecentres have the know-how ingredients required to feed the essential courage needed to first empower local community champions and global community ambassadors alike, that in turn will release a community's confidence in themselves, to back their own vision for themselves.

As you say: "Digital literacy meaningfully happens within these centres and creativity and imagination could be our only limitation." I like so much of what you write here, Cleopa. The ILO Unemployment facts are indeed compelling. And the Youth & Womens share of those figures are distressing. And MS YouthSpark gets very close with: "We want to empower youth to change their world", though its still only part of the solution on its own as we know. Yes, Telecentres do present huge opportunities for youth and women, being those who form such a great percentage of the unemployed.

In fact Telecentres ought to be seen as that 'guide on the side' for Users within their communities. Apart from being a vital provider of digital access for so many, they can provide one other vital ingredient for those who wish or even desperately need to cross the digital divide - they are poised to instill a courage or confidence to get people past that (often hidden) fear factor, so-called 'keyboard fright', that quitely afflicts and distresses so many. Get them past that fear and a new world opens up for all to see.

Innovation is indeed the answer. The Telecentre is well equipped in principle to be the Hub of their Communities. They can either do so as a standalone resource or be attached, bolted-on to one or more of......a cafe, a college, a hotel, a library, a business, a cooperative, an NGO and so other TSO places to be found in every community around the world.

I believe the key to job creation at Telecentres is two dimensional - a need to think both Local and Global; firstly, to think of Telecentres at home as 'content generator hubs' for newly empowered local providers in M-SMEs (micro and small to medium sized businesses of private sector) & TSOs (Third Sector Orgs); and secondly, in parallel, to think of Telecentres abroad as providing opportunities for new (micro) retail outlets carrying that content - under their known Community brand names, otherwise called Universal Social Brands - to their diaspora and other socially enlightened purchasers of a social marketplace that is driven by social purchasing.

I hope this contribution assists with your endeavours here and best regards Cleopa, Richard

Reading this has been refreshing Richard, the insight and thought displayed here is great lessons for the telecentre community. 

Innovation is the way to go, ingenuity and open minded approach will create unlimited potential among all communities. Every sector of the economy can benefit from the services offered by telecentres. Its upon telecentre community to expand and create new services based on the needs of the communities which dynamically change. Living up to these task rests with good management skills at the telecentres. 

With the fear of diluting the great points shared here I wish to thank all who participated in this discussion, we end the flavor of the month of April but the discussion doenst end even as we usher in the FOTM for May. 

Thank you Cleopa for the brief introduction. I’m following the debate with interest and would want to provide my own comments.
Telecentre for employment is a field which attracts much interest for me as practionner but also as an area which can be investigated for academic purpose. It is almost 8 years I’m in the telecentre movement. My practice experience and observations from other region give me the confident that telecentres are source of employment for rural youth and can act as link between job seekers and job providers.
I think what iAssess is doing is create that link which in many cases is missing between organization and yang people who are looking for jobs.
On the other hand, Digital Media Creation is not only a source of employment but as a way to improve the availability of local content which is locally generated. I need to emphasis that one of the critical challenges faced by telecentre movement is the availability of local content. Since most of the content is in foreign language, there is huge opportunity in media production. Hence, there is need to have clear business model which allows media producers to have monetary value out of this activity. As noted by Richard, Telecentre are well place to steer the production and dissemination of local content using ICTs.

I always ask people who come for ICT trainings why they want to take up such ICT courses. Then you get different response like, I want to start my secretarial bureau,Open a Video Library,become an office secretary and others say they need the skills for further academic purposes.

Does this qualifies a Telecentre to contribute to the unemployment problem?

Yes indeed Peter, I believe this is a good employment creation channel and serve to reduce the alarming unemployment ratio. I know of telecentres that have created self employment for youth through targeted training based on the unique needs of the youth. Mentor ship and incubation is necessary aside from training. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 

Should we start a fresh brainstorming/inquiry/research into finding what would be the most influential digital skills Telecentres can provide for youth seeking 21st century employment?

Thanks for this suggestion, perhaps some members have already carried this out, could we share these experiences/results of such surveys/research findings if any? otherwise it would be a good idea to conduct this Modi.

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