Chad Bryan, Youthlink Writer
The Government of Jamaica, in collaboration with the World Bank Organisation, Jamaican private ICT companies and other international stakeholders, will stage Digital Jam 2.0 under the theme 'The Future of Work is Online'. This three-day event is scheduled to take place in Kingston from June 28-30 at the Jamaica Conference Centre and will include a 24-hour hackathon, apps contest, seminars and a marketplace and job fair. The first of its kind in Jamaica, the staging of Digital Jam 2.0 seeks to promote youth employment in the virtual economy in Jamaica. Youths will be able to showcase their talents and big ideas, benefit from the introduction of trends and training, and connect to jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Unemployment affects a large number of Jamaica's youth and the global online world of business and employment represents unparalleled new options. One young man who has used the global online environment as a means for employment is 20-year-old entrepreneur and micro worker Mario Thompson. He noted that he has tried to apply for employment locally but to no avail, so he decided to try his hand at seeking employment via the Internet.
Online job bank
The prospective university student stumbled across websites that enable people across the world to find jobs that suit their particular talents and experiences. Freelancer, oDesk, Elance and Guru are accessible after creating a profile and applying for a job that matches your experience. Thompson's talent lies in web designing and programming.
"On any of these websites, you start by creating a profile with or without your picture and then add other information such as an application letter for the job advertised," he stated.
The money made from successfully completing the jobs is also rewarding. Thompson noted that, depending on the project requested from each company on these sites, an individual may make up to $5,000, however, such a project maybe tedious. Individuals can also choose to do hourly and fixed jobs, which will also determine how much they are paid. According to him, he preferred to do fixed jobs as hourly jobs do not pay as much as fixed ones.
The virtual economy offers new opportunities and solutions for entrepreneurs and Jamaica's youth, and can be viable for earning a living from performing paid tasks.