On August 11, 2023, Banyan Global hosted a live audio International Youth Day (IYD) event titled “Celebrate #YouthDay! Green Skills for Youth in Jordan and Indonesia” on X (formerly Twitter) Spaces. Members of Banyan Global’s staff discussed the green economy and the growing importance of coordinated approaches to invest in green skills development for youth.
The event featured youth advocates and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Recycling Activity in Jordan led by Chemonics International and the Banyan Global-implemented USAID Partnerships for Productivity (PADU) in Indonesia.
Maha Al Khateeb, Banyan Global’s Gender and Social Inclusion and Informal Sector Specialist for the USAID Recycling Activity in Jordan explained the barriers that prevent youth from expanding green initiatives and developing green skills such as low level of youth involvement in decision and policy-making processes and limited financial support for youth entrepreneurs in green businesses. Al Khateeb also shared where opportunities exist to leverage youth representation and participation.
“I believe that highlighting the success stories of young entrepreneurs, especially women, can serve as a powerful source of inspiration for aspiring individuals and encourage them to pursue their dream and start their own green initiatives,” said Maha. “These successful cases demonstrate that both young men and women are fully capable of playing significant roles in creating impacts on both the nation’s well-being and environmental preservation.”
Speaking in Arabic with an English voice over, the Recycling Activity in Jordan youth intern Shaaban A Sa’adeh (26), shared how the project has been a starting point for him to learn more about balancing economic growth and environmental sustainability considerations.
“I have acquired various skills, including personal skills such as communication and expression of ideas, as well as technical skills like waste valuation and source separation,” said A Sa’adeh. “In the future, if I start my own business, I will implement the skills and techniques I learned from the project, such as source separation and utilizing renewable energy sources like solar panels, areas where Jordan excels.”
The event also highlighted the role of the private sector in skilling, upskilling, and reskilling for youth seeking green jobs. Ester Manurung, Senior Technical Advisor at USAID and the Contracting Officer’s Representative for USAID PADU spoke about the emphasis USAID is placing on engaging with the private sector for investments in the green economy and specifically in green skills development for youth in Indonesia.
“In the vocational education sector, USAID’s Partnerships for Productivity, or USAID PADU, is increasing access to high quality training in green skills by leveraging expertise, technology, and resources of private companies and businesses,” said Manurung. “Our partnerships are transforming Indonesia’s current and future workforce to foster a thriving and sustainable economy.”
Lensi Mursida, Chief of Party of USAID PADU, spoke specifically about the transition to green energy.
“When moving to renewable energy, the industry should equip their team with new skills to align with needs for green jobs and green skills,” said Mursida. “These new skills will be able to support their company to improve brand image, reduce costs of operations, support local communities, and increase client-customer base through green image and increased profits.”
In its work in Jordan and Indonesia, Banyan Global utilizes a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach, applying the four PYD domains: 1. Assets, 2. Agency, 3. Contribution, and 4. Enabling Environment across its activities. Linsey Jaco, an Associate in Banyan Global’s Gender and Youth Practice explained that youth must be provided with the necessary resources, skills, and competencies to achieve their desired outcomes. The youth themselves must perceive and have the ability to employ their own assets and contribute to their community’s positive development.
“Considering that today’s young generation is the largest the world has ever known, effective youth programming—especially in green skills—is crucial to continue to develop youth resources, skills and their ability to employ them,” said Jaco.
Listen to the complete IYD event recording below.