National Youth Policy to be Reviewed

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith arrives for the start of the first official meeting of the Cabinet held on March 15 at the Office of the Prime Minister. (File)

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith says the Government is currently reviewing the National Youth Policy which will guide its engagement with young people.
  • “They will have an opportunity to provide support and analysis in decision-making at the highest levels, as well as assist in the coordination and monitoring of initiatives across Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” Senator Johnson Smith explained.
  • “My ultimate goal is to establish a platform to encourage young members of our community whether first, second or third generation, to maintain their affinity to Jamaica, while providing a space for their vision and creativity. This infusion of youth participation will ensure the sustainability of the Diaspora Movement,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith says the Government is currently reviewing the National Youth Policy which will guide its engagement with young people.

She made the announcement at the Jamaica Christian Diaspora Conference held at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites in St. James on Friday, October 14.

“It will establish the policy framework within which young persons can be supported to pursue their goals, thereby contributing to the success of their local community and the nation at large,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

She stated that the Government will use the establishment of the Youth Advisory Council of Jamaica as another mechanism, to encourage youth participation in the decision-making process.

“We are desirous of attracting and mobilizing young persons who have an interest in community development and who are committed to serving their country. The members of the Council will comprise a wide cross section of the youth population,” Senator Johnson Smith further added.

She said Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is already spearheading an initiative targeting young people, known as the Jamaica House Fellowship Programme.

This programme seeks to empower youth through hands-on training in public policy decision-making, so as to allow young persons to make meaningful contributions to national development.

“They will have an opportunity to provide support and analysis in decision-making at the highest levels, as well as assist in the coordination and monitoring of initiatives across Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” Senator Johnson Smith explained.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Minister is encouraging the Church to partner with the Government, to create mechanisms to equip young people with the requisite tools and skills that will make them more marketable and employable.

“I want to encourage you to also remember, that young people have interests in and useful perspectives on a wide range of matters- not just matters labelled as ‘youth matters’. So bring them to the table and use the opportunity to guide them while you also learn from them. Youth inclusion is mutually beneficial,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

In addition, the Foreign Affairs Minister said she has commenced dialogue with young leaders and future leaders of Jamaican heritage in New York, Orlando and Washington D.C as well as in Toronto.

“My ultimate goal is to establish a platform to encourage young members of our community whether first, second or third generation, to maintain their affinity to Jamaica, while providing a space for their vision and creativity. This infusion of youth participation will ensure the sustainability of the Diaspora Movement,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

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