JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The revised National Youth Policy, when completed, will sharpen its focus on entrepreneurship, skills training and preparing young people for the world of work.
  • The Minister explained that the concept will now form a Green Paper.
  • The Ministry of Youth and Culture has been tasked with the responsibility of developing a comprehensive data base of the country’s youth population.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, says the revised National Youth Policy, when completed, will sharpen its focus on entrepreneurship, skills training and preparing young people for the world of work in the global village.

“We have put in place all the work for revision…the Concept Paper has been written to (produce) the new policy, which will not only see things to take into consideration – how the globe has changed, how Jamaica has changed, and how our young people have changed – but will have with it certain instruments to make sure that it’s implemented,” the Minister said.

Ms. Hanna was addressing a youth seminar, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, on November 20.

The Minister explained that the concept will now form a Green Paper, which will go back for consultations and out of that will emerge a White Paper, which will be tabled in Parliament.

She pointed out that the policy will take into account emerging issues that affect young people, and will present commitment and response of the Government to address these issues over time.

The Ministry of Youth and Culture has been tasked with the responsibility of developing a comprehensive data base of the country’s youth population, a review of the 2004 National Youth Policy and the promotion of a symbiotic youth-development partnership with the private sector.

These activities will lay the foundation for greater participation of young people in the formulation of appropriate policies, and ensure that limited resources are targeted to the preparation of young people for the increasingly competitive world of work.

Miss Hanna underscored that the future of the country resides in the creativity and imagination of young people, “so in order to pull that out of you, we have to get rid of the mindset of ‘a jus so di ting set’.”

“If we have a revolution of the mindset of young people resetting their agendas, resetting their approaches, resetting their conversations as to how this country should work, and what their expectations are, then we will go in a particular direction,” she said.

Meanwhile, Project Manager, Inter-American Development Bank/Government of Jamaica Youth Development Programme, Margery Newland, said one of the most significant outcomes of the revised policy will be its Monitoring and Evaluation System, which will allow for the tracking of achievements and the status of activities included in the policy.

“We have to assess, on a continuing basis, the quality of the relationships that we have established and the progress in the implementation of the policy; and to evaluate the activities and actions that we have taken in the implementation of the policy, so that we are in a position to assess the impact that it has had on our target population,” she said.

Scores of young people from across the island turned out to participate in robust discussion sessions regarding topics such as: education, health, anti-crime/restorative justice, entrepreneurship/employment, capacity building of youth sector and youth participation, and equity/special circumstances.

Revision of the policy is being informed by the findings of the 2010 Jamaica National Youth Survey, which was commissioned by the Government under the Youth Development Programme loan agreement signed with the IDB.

Conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the survey provides a holistic profile of young people age 15 to 24 years, and seeks to aid in the strengthening of existing programmes designed for youth development throughout the island.

It focuses on, among other things, unattached youth; young people living and working on the street as well as those in State care; young people with disabilities; entrepreneurial and employment opportunities; and spirituality and values.

The seminar was held under the theme: ‘Reset di Ting! The Courage to do Things Differently’, and forms part of the activities to celebrate Youth Month 2013.