JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports, Olivia Grange has said that the government is reviewing the 2004 National Youth Policy with a view to strengthening the position of Jamaica’s young people in the society.
The policy identifies focal areas for youth participation and empowerment, and the review, according to Ms. Grange, is intended to integrate the changes that have taken place since it was drafted.
Speaking at a workshop on ‘Youth and Future Leadership: Sustaining Affinity to Jamaica for this Generation and Beyond’, at the Third Biennial Jamaican Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Tuesday (June 17), Ms. Grange said government is committed to empowering young people through the provision of knowledge, skills, and competencies, to enable them to “have a positive impact on the environment” as leaders.
She noted that a number of the nation’s youth, between ages 15 to 24 years, figured prominently in Jamaica’s crime statistics, either as victims or perpetrators, adding that many of them were unattached and deemed at-risk.
“When we speak of unattached, we refer to young persons who leave school without the requisite qualifications to continue into higher education or employment. Many are not actively engaged in positive activities, not linked to any form of uplifting social groups and are, perhaps, involved in illegal and destructive activities,” the Minister pointed out.
She said, however, that these individuals were also part of Jamaica’s future leadership, and although not the majority, could potentially determine the picture painted of Jamaica’s future.
Ms. Grange stressed that leadership is based on a vision articulated, understood, and lived by individuals, noting further that it implied community participation, marked by creativity and innovation.”Leadership is planting a seed and nurturing (it) in the kind of environment that will enable it to germinate and grow and be productive and bountiful. That is Jamaica’s future leadership that I envision, and my government is committed to making this a reality in the immediate future,” Ms. Grange stated.
The two-day conference, which culminated on Tuesday (June 17), saw some 700 participants attending. The event was staged under the theme: ‘A Borderless Partnership for Development’.

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