JIS News

The Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, has given an outline of the Government’s strategy to improve the youth sector.
Speaking at the Christmas Luncheon and Graduation Exercise for the Possibility Programme this afternoon, Senator Newby said the Government was putting youth at the centre of the country’s development strategy.
Senator Newby said, as a country, Jamaica should be investing more in youth development while ensuring the best return on the investment. He said a review of the youth development programmes across Government had already begun, with the aim of increasing effectiveness.
Senator Newby said:”We’ve started with the inter-ministerial team on youth. We examined where overlaps have been occurring; we examined the role of the NGO sector in youth work; and we have been seeking to streamline the entire portfolio of youth in such a fashion that greater efficiency is arrived and a better return on each dollar that is spent is achieved through synergy and co-operation.”
Senator Newby said the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture had been engaging local and international partners to find more resources for youth development.
He reasoned that “if we believe that the human component is going to be the vehicle for the transformation of the Jamaican economy, then certainly, the percentage of the budget that we are spending on youth will have to be commensurate with the value that we believe they will add in the future”.
In his presentation, Senator Newby also called on agencies in youth development – inside and outside government – to strengthen their screening processes to exclude people looking to abuse young people.
“The predators are using youth work as a guise for the recruitment of young people for the trafficking of drugs, for engagement in the illicit sex trade and further as partners for themselves in some very unholy unions.
“It is bringing a scourge on youth work in Jamaica. So we have to open our eyes and look for them. We cannot blindly accept help anymore.”
The Possibility Programme, which is operated through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, helps vulnerable boys and is aimed at eliminating the need for any boy to live on the street. The programme offers skills training, apprenticeship, remedial education as well as lodging.

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