Youth unemployment: MENA, Canada and Caribbean

According to a recent BBC report, youth unemployment in Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa was a major catalyst behind the Arab Spring.

The Arab world has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the world, and according to a report by the International Finance Corporation and Islamic Development Bank, the problem is costing Arab countries more than $40bn (£24bn) annually.

This is a risk to Carillion as we depend on stable communities in which to do business. The business is exploring ways in which to support its neighbouring communities in skills development. For example, Carillion Alawi’s training centre is providing people from local villages with training in carpentry, masonry, steel-fixing and scaffolding. During 2012, the Omanisation Ministry of Manpower nominated 55 candidates for employment in Carillion. All 55 of the candidates successfully completed their training and are now working on various projects in Carillion – 25 as drivers and operators, 15 as junior supervisors and 15 as specialist tradesmen.


Student training at Cairo Festival City

Student training at Cairo Festival City, Al Futtaim Carillion

In Egypt, our Cairo Festival City contract team has scaled up its student training programme for local university students.

In 2012, students from four different universities were involved (Cairo, Ein Shams, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, and the British University in Cairo) and covered all the major construction disciplines during their six-week training course. Topics included health and safety, quality control, survey, design and temporary works, and procurement, as well as a Carillion Values briefing.

At the end of the programme the group prepared a short presentation on their learning to Managing Director, Simon Webb. They demonstrated an increased knowledge of technical and practical issues and also benefits they had gained through collaboration and confidence.

Overall, nine departments and more than 30 staff members were directly involved. They were delighted to share their ideas and experiences with Egypt’s construction leaders of the future.

In Canada, an estimated 14.7% of people between the ages of 15 and 24 are without jobs1. As a major employer in Canada, Carillion has a responsibility to address this issue.

For example, our Forensics Services and Coroner Complex (FSCC) contract team in Toronto has joined forces with a local organisation, Hammer Heads, to provide supervised site visit opportunities to budding apprentices. Hammer Heads is a youth-focused programme which prepares candidates for entry into apprenticeship programmes. In 2012, the FSCC team enabled over 120 candidates to visit the contract site and ask questions about careers in the construction industry.


“Hammer Heads supports local communities by encouraging and mentoring young people who may not otherwise have an opportunity to gain and succeed at an apprenticeship. In construction we need to encourage young people into the trades, and our involvement is the first step in making the process successful.”Kieran Boyd, Project Superintendent, Carillion Canada

Kieran Boyd


Bus shelters for young people

Bus shelter in the Caribbean

In our Caribbean operations we are continuing with the Bus Shelter Initiative, which came about two years ago when we responded to an employee request for a bus shelter for the children in his village. We are now constructing two shelters in the wider community in which we operate (Waterloo Depot), which will benefit two schools, and a youth training centre in the area. The shelters provide a safe, covered area for Carillion employees, students and neighbours.

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