Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment, Adrian Forde presents Tana’rii O’Donnell-Cadogan with her certificate of

From left: Arlene Brooks, HR Manager at Courtyard by Marriott; Chief Project Manager of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Ruchelle Roach; Director of Youth Cleviston Hunte and Acting Principal Youth Development Officer, Andrea Titus during the event.

Chief Project Manager of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Ruchelle Roach
presents a certificate of completion to Dadri-Anne Best who was one of
those chosen to share her experience with the programme.

Efforts underway to help reduce Barbados’ youth unemployment

Reducing unemployment amongst youth, is high on the agenda of the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment.

Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment, Adrian Forde has noted that one such programme targeted in this direction, was the recently concluded Division of Youth/Prince’s Trust International “Get Into” Hospitality Programme, which saw 23 young men and women successfully completing an intensive six-week training and work experience programme, that will better enable them to pursue careers in the local hospitality industry.

Minister Forde delivered the feature address during that ‘Get Into’ Hospitality Celebration Event, which was held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church yesterday. It was during his address that he stressed the need for greater collaboration and partnerships, to tackle the issue of youthunemployment.

“As Minister, with youth development as one of my portfolios, I recognise the challenges with which we are faced, in relation to youth unemployment in this country,” he asserted.

“As Minister with responsibility for Youth and Community Empowerment, I fully embrace and endorse initiatives that seek to create further avenues for employment and exposure for young people, as reducing the level of unemployment remains a critical goal in our National Youth Policy,” he added.

He however stressed that the unemployment problem cannot be addressed as a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

“It therefore remains critical for us as a Ministry to re-assess the quality of our programming, in order to ensure that we derive the most effective and impactful outcomes for the young people whom we serve. As we approach the end of another financial year in the Ministry, we recognise that it will be incumbent on us to collaborate further with other Ministries, who have the resources necessary to assist with the delivery of services to young people on an even larger scale, than we are currently operating,” Forde said.

He meanwhile congratulated the youth present, who took part in the programme and the partners involved.

“This morning we celebrate the achievements of yet another cohort of young people, who have chosen to grasp the opportunity presented to them, through this significant collaboration by the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment, the Prince’s Trust International and the Maria Holder Memorial Trust,” Forde commented.

“A task which saw the involvement of two major employers, Elegant Hotels and Courtyard by Marriott, to which we extend our sincere gratitude for their continued support of our youth,” he added.

Forde meanwhile embraced a suggestion made by Chief Project Manager of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Ruchelle Roach to expand “The Get Into Programmes” with the full support of the Trust, to include such areas as Construction and the Cultural Industries, to assist more young people, since the structure of the “Get Into Programmes” allow for the engagement of employers, who in most cases, make a commitment to providing a certain percentage of employment opportunities for young people, if not immediately, in the future, based on the young person’s overall
performance and the organisation’s capacity.

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