Students prepare to take part in Gov't Summer Youth Employment Program
The Freeport News
Sixty high school and college students attended orientation for the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture's Summer Youth Employment Program at the ministry yesterday.
Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing addressed the group at the session that was held under the theme "Preparing You for the Way Forward."
Laing noted that a key responsibility of the country's leaders is to ensure that young people have the confidence that they can succeed in their home country.
"We cannot have our young people walking around The Bahamas doubtful that this country can provide for them, that this country can help them realize their hopes, dreams and aspirations," Laing said.
He noted that the youth of the nation must be secure in the knowledge that they can succeed and the annual summer employment programs held by the government of The Bahamas are a measure taken to help young people develop that confidence in their country.
"You have to have full confidence that that is possible, so we have to train you, so that you have skills to make you productive and to make you fully functioning citizens," Laing said.
He noted that by the end of the summer the government would have spent $2 million on young people through various means.
Laing said the government's motivation is to provide children and young people with wholesome activities to occupy their time during the summer break.
He added that at the same time they would collect work experience that is needed for their personal development,
"It's a perfect combination. There is fun for the younger children and there is work for the older children. There is entertainment for the younger children and money in your pocket for the bigger children," Laing said.
He said the government is fully cognizant of the need to motivate and train the young people of the country, while noting some of the initiatives that are in place.
"We now have for your benefit as young people in this nation the Junior Achievement Program to give you business skills. We have the Self Starter Program to provide you with up to $5,000 if you are a young person 30 years or younger to start your own business. We have the Fresh Start program to help long term unemployed young people to better ready themselves for the world of work." Laing said.
In addition to the soon to be launched Job Readiness Program that will provide 1,000 Grand Bahamians with the opportunity to train and apprentice for 52 weeks, Laing noted that good students have access to scholarship opportunities.
He said up to $8 million is available for students to attend colleges and universities in The Bahamas or abroad.
Laing also noted that at least 200 Bahamians would find employment in the civil service persons with mixed qualifications from degrees, BGCSEs and BJCs.
"These and other programs represent great opportunities to improve your own prospects for growing, for developing and prospering in our country," he said.
© 2011 The Freeport News