Youths partaking in the summer campSpecialists in Sustained Youth Development and Research Incorporated (SSYDR) opened its job readiness programme to some 151 persons this year, enabling them with life skills to gain employment and reintegrate successfully into their communities.Through partnership with ExxonMobil Guyana, the batch of youths was sourced from Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne). Having completed the five-week session, they would be moving on towards a career of their choice.Executive Director of SSYDR Magda Wills explained that at-risk persons were mainly chosen to participate to reduce the climbing violence and crime rate here in Guyana.“SSYDR Inc has as its vision, inspired youth transforming themselves, their house, community [and] nation. Our mission is to really promote youth access to resources, opportunities and ongoing support for lifelong learning, leadership and livelihood, towards the reduction of violence, crime and poverty,” Wills stated.According to her, there is a high probability that these persons will remain unemployed if intervention is not sought at the earliest.She expressed, “Youths from lower performing secondary schools and from lower socioeconomic conditions stand a greater chance of becoming unemployed statistics, as well as becoming entangled with the law. As such, we have recognised the need for those who have recently completed their secondary education or would have, in some cases, dropped out of the formal school system”.This year, Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Guyana was involved to provide additional support. Approximately 400 persons have already benefitted altogether from the training programmes over the years.“This collaboration allows youth not only to gather key work-ready skills, but also to become even more marketable with this new ability to develop websites…To date, through funding at various times from ExxonMobil Guyana, we have been able to reach approximately 400 young persons across six of Guyana’s ten administrative regions”.Meanwhile, ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs Manager Deedra Moe emphasised that employment readiness should not be underestimated.“It has a multiplier effect in being able to help not only the youth, but potentially communities which they are returning. You really can underestimate the value of job readiness. It is a matter of individual empowerment of making sure that you’re able to be employed and provide an opportunity into the future,” Moe asserted.The unit is moving towards the hinterland regions next year to provide equal access to youths in those communities.