Once again, Government has pledged its full commitment to the development of young people in Barbados.
As part of the annual National Youth Week, this morning adolescents from across the island attended the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Open Day which is aimed at exposing young people to programmes that will equip them with skills and knowledge for future careers.
Delivering the feature address, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, said that his ministry’s main priority was ensuring that on leaving school, persons are well balanced to take on the world of work.
“The activity is designed as an interactive event with a focus of education, career guidance and employment,” he said. “One of our goals (is) to make young people have access to employment and being entrepreneurs; we are living in a global economic environment and often times we have to recognize that there is a role for us to play.”
Lashley encouraged those already involved in the Barbados Youth Service and the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme to reach out to their peers and pass on the knowledge gained throughout the various programmes.
“See it as your mission that your success must be linked to the success of others. We do have capacity issues because in any one year the ministry is unable to take in everyone that applies. I believe that the instructions that you get in the programme, you should reach into your community, pass on knowledge to your friends,” he said.
The Culture Minister admitted that there are some youth involved in crime and delinquent behaviour, but he told those gathered that there are opportunities for troublesome teenagers.
“Those who are involved in anti-social behaviours, and criminal activities, those few who are highlighted in the media, my message to them is there are avenues for you to improve yourselves, even although we are in tough economic times, you can train and go out there and make an honest dollar.”
Lashley stated that the island’s youth should adopt a more independent approach to living. “There is always this tendency to go out there and live the quick life, and wanting to own things rapidly that you see people owning without putting in the hard work. There is no short cut to success,” he said.
“It will never be possible for any government to create all the employment that is required for you. Our young people should be imaginative and practice some self help measures that will get you income, “ Lashley said.