Bridgetown, Barbados – CIBC FirstCaribbean and Prince’s Trust International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the bank supporting the work of the Trust in the region to uplift and empower young people over the next five years.

During a virtual signing ceremony last Friday, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer and Chair of its charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean ComTrust Foundation, Colette Delaney and Will Straw, Chief Executive Officer of Prince’s Trust International, inked the agreement under which the bank will donate USD$50 000 annually to the Trust for the next five years.

Prince’s Trust International operates around the globe, including in the Caribbean, where it is currently working in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and is exploring future opportunities in the Eastern Caribbean.

Mr. Straw expressed his delight at the new partnership with the bank to further their work in the region. “We are very appreciative. We have great partnerships in Barbados and Jamaica so we look forward to taking this forward.”

He noted the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted “young people hardest. We have a very important job to do in helping our young people get their confidence and resilience back.”  He added that entrepreneurship would be key to overcoming youth unemployment in the region.

Ms. Delaney praised the work of the trust noting that as the region moves to recover from the pandemic “the work you do will become increasingly important”. She added that there were a number of “young people that have suffered and their education has suffered as a result of the pandemic. A lot of them have not had access to online education and they have really been impacted.”

Through the partnership CIBC FirstCaribbean will become an Employability Partner for the trust’s employability programmes operating in Barbados with the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment and in Jamaica with the Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency (HEART Trust NTA).

Becoming an Employability Partner will allow unemployed young people access to work placements and entry level employment opportunities at CIBC FirstCaribbean banks. It will also allow them to learn more about the financial sector through staff engagement and mentorship opportunities.