The Bahamas is set to establish a nation-wide, demand-driven apprenticeship programme that will combine on and off-the-job training to provide unemployed youth and adults between the ages of 16 and 40 with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. The $50 million initiative is a joint programme of the Bahamas Government and the [Inter-American Development Bank](http://www.iadb.org/en/inter-american-development-bank,2837.html) (IDB).
The jobs initiative is designed to increase workplace skills and improve employability among young people and adults who have had difficulty finding work. Additionally, it will improve the effectiveness of The Bahamas’ public employment services and will help to coordinate efforts of different Bahamian government agencies involved in collecting data that help monitor the country’s labor market performance.
Last year, unemployment figures rose to 14.8%, with the subset for young persons twice as high, and labour productivity figures showing consistent decreases in recent years. The Bahamas recognised the need to address this critical problem and with employers identifying lack of job-specific skills as an ongoing recruitment obstacle, the skills training programme became a high priority.