Former Magistrate Barbara Cooke-Alleyne is lauding Government’s plans to invest $20 million in a Barbados Youth Advance Corps to offer young people training in a wider range of life skills.
Cooke-Alleyne who is now Registrar of the Supreme Court, said she was pleased to hear Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announce that the new organisation’s budget is four times that of the youth service to help up to five times more young people than the Barbados Youth Service (BYS) currently assists. The BYS is to be scrapped.
“I think it’s a great initiative to increase the number of persons who will benefit from the youth service and the programme seems to be more diverse than it was before. The topics they are looking at are vital for our young people.
“Conflict resolution is one of the things that the PM talked about, which is needed among our young people to resolve their conflict in ways other than by violence. So having that as part of the programme and syllabus would be excellent for our young people,” Cooke-Alleyne said.
The new unit is to be based on the grounds of the Paragon base of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), where the Prime Minister said construction is currently taking place. It is intended to take between 800 to 1 000 young people annually who have left school in the last two years.
“The age groups which she is actually targeting,16 to 23, is also a good age group to target as well. Most of our young people in that age group are causing us to be concerned in respect of the violence in the community. So I am really pleased by the initiative that is being taken by the Government,” the Registar said.