Today, July 15th is World Youth Skills Day and the United Nations is observing the day with a special event on the theme of “Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment.” Statistics have shown that young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed or underemployed as compared to adults. They are also more exposed to lower quality jobs and greater inequalities in the labour market.
In Trinidad and Tobago today, we see this reality amplified with the recent job losses and the climbing rate of unemployment. Under the previous People’s Partnership Government, our country saw unprecedented levels of development as it relates to harnessing the skills of young people. The Kamla Persad-Bissessar led administration had the vision and foresight to properly equip the youths of our nation with the tools and skills necessary to tackle the problems we face as a country.
One such initiative was the laptops that were given to students entering secondary school which aided with their studies to better develop their academic and research skills. This initiative was a major contributor leading to Trinidad and Tobago climbing the ranks on the ICT Development Index.
The Youth Arm of the United National Congress calls on the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to stop paying lip service to youth development and treat the issue with the significance it deserves. Our young people aren’t just the ones who will be leaders of tomorrow, but in so many ways they are leaders today. As a nation, youth should be our greatest investment and that begins by developing their skills and abilities to tackle the challenges of the day.
Chris Arshad Hosein