National Youth Conference: ISSUE 1: YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT; ISSUE 2: YOUTH ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT; AND I

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By admin October 13, 2011 13:28

National Youth Conference: ISSUE 1: YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT; ISSUE 2: YOUTH ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT; AND I

Issue 1:

The following are recommendations presented to the Anguilla Government at the House of Assembly on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, following the National Youth Conference:


Young people and others attending the National Conference at the House of assembly
Young people and others attending the National Conference at the House of assembly

Preamble: We, the Youth of Anguilla, have made general observations and recommendations that if implemented would help to reduce youth unemployment in Anguilla and create a more favourable social and economic climate for all residents in Anguilla.

Recognising that youth unemployment rates are higher than the national average;
Alarmed that youth are over-represented in the informal economy and in precarious employment conditions;
Aware that the current Youth Policy needs revision;
Concerned about the limited availability of jobs;
Cognisant of the fact that effective resolution and policy cannot be made without evidence based on data;
Mindful that having technical skills are important for the development of Anguilla;
Noting the impact of the global financial crisis, the attendant recession and its disproportionate effect on youth – recommend the following:
Strict enforcement of the policy for mentoring/shadowing of expatriates for young persons (especially youth between 20 and 30 years as this cohort includes graduates of secondary and tertiary institutions).

(a) Review the structure of the summer placement Job Training Programme, with a goal of specific and measureable outcomes for students particularly in soft skills development.

Government should encourage more job fairs. These can be coordinated by the Department of Labour and geared towards providing opportunities to match the unemployed with available jobs in both the public and private sectors;

A national campaign is developed to motivate Anguilla’s residents to set up their own enterprises.

Courses and programmes geared towards entrepreneurship development and soft skills enhancement should be encouraged and supported from Primary School level.
Priority is given to enhancing the infrastructural and resource needs of the technical programmes at the secondary school level.

Government should partner with NGOs and private sector to provide scholarship initiatives in technical fields.

Government should implement policy and legislation to protect local producers and manufacturers (i.e. farmers, fisher persons and manufacturers).

Invest in fish market and other initiatives to support this industry; create a policy that domestic products should satisfy local demand before marketed overseas and impose an import quota for products that can be substituted with local produce; revisit tax structure on raw materials for local manufacturers (protection of manufacturers); and build factory shells to facilitate wood shops, manufacturing, post harvest technology and other activities.

Consider membership status of Anguilla to regional organisations such as CARICOM:
(a) Ease of migration to other countries for employment opportunities.
(b) Prioritise the use of alternative energy and create greater awareness of existing policies to encourage alternative energy based businesses and related opportunities.

Government should revisit all legislation and policies relating to the retirement age.
The retirement age should be lowered; a policy for the option of early retirement should be created; instances where persons receive a pension and a salary from the same employer should be discontinued; and an active succession plan to professionally train and equip individuals for positions filled by a pending retiree should be developed.

Government should create a mechanism that provides incentives to businesses that are good corporate citizens.

Ensure that there is a clause in all signed Government Memorandums which speak to mandatory capacity building of employees where there is a need for outsourcing of labour to ensure that there can be succession by a resident of Anguilla.

Adjust legislation to ensure that all jobs advertised follow an outline process/stipulated guideline that includes an interview process with all suitable applicants (national or non-national) before a work permit can be issued.


Young people and others attending the National Conference at the House of assembly
Young people and others attending the National Conference at the House of assembly

Government should encourage and coordinate comprehensive and regular posting of labour market needs and available positions in both public and private sector using all media.

Government should partner with private sector to inject/invest moneys into organisations and government agencies where programmes such as the Job Link-Up (JESDI) are made available to youth on an annual basis, to ensure their continuity and contribution to the development of the youth and the community.

ISSUE 2: YOUTH ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

Preamble
From the Millennium Development Goals to which Anguilla has subscribed, Goal 8 Target 16 says that in cooperation with developing countries (Anguilla) should develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth. Anguilla should utilise the tool of youth entrepreneurship development as one way of increasing youth employment, alleviating the vicious cycle of poverty and social degrade. Youth entrepreneurship development is focused on building a culture of entrepreneurship among a nation’s youth by encouraging, nurturing and socialising young men and young women into recognising entrepreneurship as a viable career choice and assisting them with the necessary tools to start and grow sustainable ventures.

Distraught about youth’s limited access to resources – financial and managerial;
Convinced that Youth Enterprise Development is a viable option to youth unemployment;
Aware that the legal and financial regulations are not youth-friendly;
Disturbed by the barriers to youth entrepreneurship/enterprise development –

We recommend the following:
Government should develop and invest in avenues for extra-curriculum programmes dealing with entrepreneurship guidance and mentorship.

Government should revisit and restructure the student subject options to ensure student career goals are accommodated through their selections at the secondary school.
Develop, enhance and enforce policies that provide incentives and tax breaks to micro and small youth enterprises during the infancy status of the business (3 to 5 years).

Government should include in all relevant memorandums that money be allocated to the government for youth development at intervals during the course of the development (not at the completion of development).

Allocation of resources for the development of a trade or technical school.

Government should partner with the private sector to provide mentorship to young entrepreneurs with regard to their skill sets.

Government officials and senior staff (Ministers and Permanent Secretaries) should be more involved in youth activities or workshops, by not only being present for some time, but to remain throughout to get a clearer understanding of the concerns of the youth and to be part of the discourse.

Government should support and help to coordinate the establishment of a National Youth Week and other strategies or methods to network youth.

ISSUE 3: YOUTH BUSINESS TRUST INITIATIVE

Preamble
A major sustainable development goal for Anguilla should be to provide adequate and decent work opportunities for young people. We recognise this may be a challenge to a small and vulnerable economy and therefore note that government needs to reassess its policies and programmes, especially those relating to employment and business creation.
Noting that self-employment for youth must be career option;

Recognising that youth have limited collateral;

Concerned that youth have limited access to micro credit, and business and entrepreneurial skills training;
Alarmed that there is no National Youth Development Plan –

We recommend the following:
The establishment of a Youth Business Trust; Identification of a champion for the Youth Business Trust; Incorporation of the Youth Business Trust as one of the priority areas in the strategic plan of the Department of Youth and Culture; Contribute to and enhance policy framework in support of establishing a Youth Business Trust; and the annual allocation of funds for the Youth Business Trust to ensure continuity and sustainability of this initiative.

admin
By admin October 13, 2011 13:28

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