Categorized | National News

PM Emphasizes on Youth Development for a Stronger Bahamas

Young people between the ages of 15 to 24 make up about 16 percent of the Bahamian population. A reality, which Prime Minister Perry Christie believes determines where emphasis should be placed in order to ensure the country’s success in the future.

Mr. Christie expressed this sentiment while addressing attendants at a one-day workshop held at the British Colonial Hilton on Thursday, July 16.

“These youth are at a critical stage of their development — a time when their character is being cemented; a time when their strengths are being developed and when their life goals are taking definite shape,” he said. “It should also be an exciting time for them, full of hope and possibilities, a time for dreaming about how they can be engaged in building a Stronger Bahamas.”

He reaffirmed his commitment to providing every opportunity for young people to become educated and fully participate in Bahamian nationhood.

The workshop, held under the theme ‘Transformation: Skills for Productivity – Closing the Skills Gap and Promoting Employment Opportunities for the Youth in The Bahamas’ had the objective to identify elements to strengthen and consolidate work skills to make the country’s human capital an asset that will drive it towards a new stage of development.

It comprisd a joint venture organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the National Development Plan Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Labour and National Insurance and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce. It brought together decision-makers from both the public and private sectors and national and international experts in the area of skills development systems and workplace training.

Prime Minister Christie said young people of The Bahamas who have been successful in their various ventures should not be understated, instead they should be celebrated.

“These so-called ‘Millennials’ are independent, spirited, naturally curious and entrepreneurial. They question authority and the old ways of doing things. They push us to be better. They are an important resource for a growing country like The Bahamas. They are our future leaders. Through family and government support many are able to pursue higher education and train for trades and go on to make valuable contributions to our country. Some have started and expanded successful businesses.”

For those youths who may fall by the wayside due to a lack of formal or informal education and training and are unable to secure employment, Mr. Christie said that every measure should be taken to assist them as their circumstances could have ‘serious’ implications for the country.

“In The Bahamas we have seen the effects of youth who have become disengaged from society and chose the wrong path towards crime and other social pathologies, including unprepared pregnancies, drug use and other illicit activities. Too many have been left defenseless without a sound education, and without adequate preparation for the job market,” he said.

In order to address this problem, the government introduced a series of initiatives to support young persons including the National Training Agency and BAMSI, which provides young Bahamians with opportunities outside of the traditional tourism sector.

Mr. Christie said that the government continues to support programmes such as Youth in Parliament and Youth Ambassadors, Urban Renewal and Youth Bands.

“To ensure economic empowerment, the government has supported programmes such as Fresh Start, Self Start, and Junior Achievement, and has sought to strengthen other youth organizations. The government has also maintained its support for the national educational system. Education continues to account for the lion’s share of the national budget both directly through our public schools and through subventions to private schools. The College of The Bahamas, soon to be the University of The Bahamas, is one of the brightest beacons of support for the youth. We also continue to support BTVI in providing technical training to youth. We must continue to make tertiary education affordable and accessible to all Bahamians.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook