The much desired three-month residential phase of the Barbados Youth Service training programme is about to be restarted after a two-year suspension, Minister of Youth Stephen Lashley has said.
The minister made this revelation when four essential youth training programmes, designed to give young school-leavers a fair chance in successfully entering the world of work, or creating their own enterprises were combined for a mass graduation over the weekend.
Hundreds of eager and pumped youngsters of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, Endless Possibilities Programme, Youth Mainstreaming Programme and Barbados Youth Service assembled in The Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on Saturday to receive their certificates of training participation, and some returned to the stage to collect trophies for outstanding performances.
“I have been reminded by several young people of the importance of the residential component of this important programme,” Lashley said in the feature address, noting that this phase of the Barbados Youth Service training had
been halted owing to the lack of appropriate accommodation.
“This evening, I’m proud to announce that the Ministry [of Youth] is actively working to create a permanent home
for the Barbados Youth Service.
“We are working hard to provide that resident home because we believe that the residential phase of the programme is vitally important.”
He said: “The requisite [legal] paper to provide for that permanent home has been prepared, and the question will shortly go before the Cabinet of Barbados.
“This will assist with the restoration of those relevant programmes that were either curtailed or reduced, and allow for others to be introduced, which will enhance the offerings of the Barbados Youth Service.”
Lashley spoke of attitudes that changed and the rising self-esteem noticeable among the young people graduating from all four programmes.
“We want to salute these young people, some of whom have had to overcome great barriers to reach where they are today. We salute them for staying the course and being champions.”
He promised additional “programmes that are designed to transform the lives of young people of Barbados”.
“We believe that without the full engagement of you, the young people, that all of our efforts aimed at transforming our economy, at building out our society on the tried and tested principles which have helped
to transform even own lives, all of that will come to naught.
“Be the champions of transforming our communities and returning our communities back to those tried and tested values and standards,” Lashley urged the young ones.