Our youth are vital to the future development of Trinidad and Tobago. They must be nurtured, listened to, protected and encouraged, given proper guidance and easy access to education, personal development, health care and meaningful employment. They must be supported and provided with the means to grow and develop and there must be a forum for their voices to be heard and their ideas, plans and programmes incorporated into national policy. They must also be given opportunities to participate in Government and the public and private sectors at the highest levels.
The new policy direction of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for youth development speaks to the following:
- The creation of Youth-ships – Mentorship, Internship, Leadership and Entrepreneurship (MILE).
- Increased youth participation in all aspects of sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Special emphasis on needs assessment to foster a greater understanding of the needs of young people and the provision of guidelines for positive youth development.
- a. Creating an enabling environment to stimulate youth micro-enterprise including the provision of grant funding and loan financing.
b. Developing a culture of entrepreneurship among youth whereby young people are motivated/driven to own their own businesses, as well become job creators.
- Creating a mechanism for the respect and protection of the intellectual property rights of our young people.
- The involvement of the private sector, through fiscal incentives to increase the levels of youth employment.
- Collaborations with specialised partner agencies to:
- address the rehabilitation of young offenders coming out of institutions and/or the court system and
- develop a proper support system to facilitate the young people’s reintegration into society
- Youth engagement, youth involvement and youth participation in constructive activities at the community, district and village levels with specific exposure to training in civic responsibility.
- The development and implementation of social marketing interventions aimed at:
- highlighting the positive aspects of youth, including the use of young people who are engaged in positive initiatives
- Utilising youth-to-youth approaches to disseminate information on critical issues.
- Encouraging young people to be more politically minded and providing them with opportunities and
facilities for dialogue on youth issues.
- a. The provision of Youth Facilities in communities/villages and regions of Trinidad and Tobago that will allow positive recreation and healthy lifestyles among youth.
b. Ensuring that these Youth Facilities in communities/villages and regions give youth a safe space to socialise while receiving coaching, counselling and acquiring information on civic responsibility.
The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service, with over a dozen Agencies, Divisions and Statutory Boards under its remit, remains steadfast in its thrust to work collectively and cohesively with all stakeholders, to realise our unifying objective and to best serve all citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly the youth.