Kingston’s chronic youth unemployment rate is 32.8 percent, more than double the national rate. Without opportunities to earn a living, youth are often enticed into crime and the informal/underground economy as a means of survival; 60 percent of crime is attributable to youth, who are often also the victims of violence. As unemployed youth age, they are more likely to become unemployable, disengaged adults.
The city will tackle entrenched youth unemployment through Kingston Live, a mobile digital platform that allows young people to explore, create, and access career opportunities in multiple industries, especially Jamaica’s cultural and music industries.
Kingston has a rich and enviable cultural heritage; its creativity is boundless and its civic leaders have always sought to find new and innovative ways to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of residents. Kingston Live is built around Jamaica’s competitive advantage of musical diversity and will engage 200 unattached youth to produce themed events that celebrate Jamaica’s eight musical genres. Youth will participate in activities along the techno-economic value chain of production, distribution, and consumption of music.
“This solution challenges the view that adults know best and aims to put the youth in charge of their own fortunes with choice and change as the foundation for them to create and monetize their opportunities.”