Youth unemployment is the most significant problem that is faced by the young people in the region. We believe that this problem has four main aspects.
Financial crises in Cyprus and across the region influence lives of the young people directly. Day by day, companies are demanding more flexible workforce and offer less secure job opportunities and the effects of the financial crisis is making private and public enterprises to have less capacity to employ young people. It is widely acknowledged that this problem occurs largely because of the failure of the education system to comprehend and supply the demands of the businesses. As a result of this failure, lack of knowhow, networking opportunities, guidance, motivation and entrepreneurial skills became widespread among the youth.
Most people living in Cyprus believe that knowledge and skills that are important for employment and earning money are much valuable when they are not shared by the others. We can call this keep-it-for-yourself mentality. This habit is apparent in various sectors of the businesses and also in the non-profit-companies. This individualistic approach to knowledge and skills puts people in a situation where everyone is alone. However, it is a fact that no-one can be fully self-sufficient and we are all interdependent to each other specially when there is an economic crisis. This means that reaching knowledge and developing young people’s capacity requires collective work, sharing knowledge and skills.
Lack of trust undermines the potential to actualize full economic performance in any country. Building trust between the conflicted parties becomes central for the reconciliatory politics. Cyprus has been suffering from the conflict for years without any significant improvement. Lack of trust sustains the conflict and keeps the communities distant from each other. Intensification of the demands for reconciliatory politics and eventual reconciliation can create new employment opportunities.
Solution: Sharing knowledge and skills as a way of trust building between various parties.
Technological developments create opportunities as well as threats for the young people. Young people take the advantage of using the technological gadgets and internet to a very large extent. However, they are not often using these opportunities in the most efficient and effective manner. Mostly, technological gadgets and internet are being used to idle away time.
In the large picture we are offering youth entrepreneurship as a tool to combat with youth unemployment. As a group of enthusiastic people, we are considering of a multifunctional online application and a website where people can share their knowledge and skill to the youth entrepreneurship. SKILLxCHANGE is the Dropbox for skill-sharing to create a new opportunity to young people looking for costless interactive methods of acquiring and exchanging new skills and knowledge by sharing or meeting up with the like-minded buddies for a change in their mahallae!
Solution 1: Offer Alternative Ways of Capacity Development to combat Economic Aspects of the Problem!
Solution 2: Promoting Cooperation against keep-it-for-yourself mentality!
Solution 3: Skill Exchange for Trust Building
Solution 4: Technology for Change
SKILLxCHANGE is an app that can work over the mobile devices and the same functions work over the website environment where people can open up a profile to share and find knowledge and information they need to improve their capacity for entrepreneurship as well as to improve their employability. In order to use the app one has to open up a personal account. Users will be encourage to upload videos, links, documents, announcements and chat to each other regarding the issues related to entrepreneurship, career development and job opportunities.
Opening an account and using the app will be free of charge. However, we intend to have a credit system based on the number of downloads one’s upload gets. The more your stuffs are downloaded by others the more credits you will get. Users will need these credits to download from other users. This credit system is intended to prevent the exploitation of SKILLxCHANGE and to encourage uploading and sharing.