The Guyana Youth Corps which was first established on January 1, 1968 will be re-established on January 1, 2018, to provide youths with the skills needed to prepare them for the work force.
This was announced yesterday (Sunday, February 12, 2017) by President David Granger at the Graduation Ceremony for 57 young people at the Madewini Training Centre.
The Guyana Youth Corps was first established on January 1, 1968 as a means of solving the youth unemployment problem. It operated for seven years, during which time, approximately 1,200 youth benefitted from the programme. The Youth Corps was then absorbed by the National Service on January 1, 1975, which itself was dismantled in 2000. Due to a weakened education system over the past two decades, the President has lamented the fact that over 4000 children drop out of school every year in Guyana.
“It will be the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the first Guyana Youth Corps and I will bring together some of the agencies, which are just nibbling at the edges of our youth enterprise in Guyana…so that young people, who might have faced challenges in their education can voluntarily come in and learn skills and prepare themselves for the world of work… This will take place in the hinterland and the coastland,” the President said.
He added that such a move is critical to reducing youth unemployment and preparing young people to lead in the development of a more technologically advanced ‘green’ Guyana.
The Head of State commended the graduates for reaching this stage of the Youth Leadership Training Programme, and said that this signifies that they have now taken a step forward toward achieving Government’s vision of the good life. As such, the President said, the Programme is meant to help young people holistically understand both their destiny and their legacy. He also acknowledged that there are many challenges facing young people. However, the President said that these challenges can be solved through ensuring equality, education, employment, empowerment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the nation’s youth.
Meanwhile, some of the participants expressed their gratitude to the Government for investing in their development and aspirations in order to empower them and their peers to deal with their challenges.
Mr. Shavez Hendricks, who hails from the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine), believes that the hosting of such programmes is one of the best ways of investing in young people in order to groom them to be leaders. “When you bring young people together from various backgrounds we learn from each other and we can use this experience to deliver to our people, encourage our people and share the knowledge in our communities and I think it’s a good investment by the government,” he said.
Ms. Hadeeya Asgar from Lethem, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine), said that the Programme helped to teach her good leadership skills and the lessons learned will enable her to motivate young people in her community. “I am happy about this because it will help a lot of young people… We are the leaders of tomorrow. We need to be educated and know how we should be good leaders,” she said.
Mr. Orin Nelson, who lives in Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four), said that he has been involved in youth groups for quite some time and was happy to be able to attend the course and benefit from the training. “It is important to learn these things at this age because is easy to bend a tree when it is young. I am happy that Government is investing in the lives of young people… I believe that what the government is doing is good and I applaud them for that,” he said.
The training programmes are conducted by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment.
Skills learned during the Youth Training Programme include writing reports and minutes, the formulation and implementation of policy, how to conduct meetings as well as social psychology and team building exercises. The course also included a mock parliament exercise where the youth were allowed to debate the contents of the National Youth Policy