International Youth Foundation
Since 2015, over 120,000 Venezuelans have moved to Panama in search of better economic and educational opportunities. In many cases, Venezuelan migrants are well-educated, having been employed in stable, formal sector jobs in their home country. Upon arriving in Panama, they cannot enter the formal labor market until they gain residency status, which can take years, forcing many women to resort to sex work to meet basic needs. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation for Venezuelan migrants.
At the same time, Panama's information technology (IT) sector continues to experience sustained growth, ranking one of ten most demanded jobs in the country.. According to a 2020 market study of the sector, while already approximately 30,000 people are employed in the sector, human resource professionals continue to report difficulties in matching demand with both quantity and quality support. This rapid growth is only expected to increase as a result of Covid-19’s impact on the world economy, and the shift to increased use of online technology.
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) is partnering with a local NGO, COSPAE (Consejo del Sector Privado para la Asistencia Educacional) to help Venezuelan migrant women while addressing the lack of market-relevant technical and soft skills. Their initiative, Conectadas 4.0, involves a partnership with Google to support online IT certification and connect jobseekers with opportunities for Venezuelan migran women aged 18 to 30. It will leverage Google’s online IT certification and employer consortium approach, to promote training and job placement for 200 Venezuelan migrant women in Panama.
Using a blended approach, participants will receive 360 hours of training as well as mentorship support and connections to companies that provide secure and stable opportunities in the tech industry.
This holistic approach builds upon successful efforts that IYF implemented previously in Colombia and Mexico. By supporting women to secure formal careers in the tech sector, this approach develops self-reliance, resilience, and earning potential.
|ICT & Media|
|Gender Equality & Women's Economic Empowerment|