Culture, Youth and Sport to roll out aggressive agenda – Min Ramson Jr.

-Training centres to be certified
-Youth innovation programme on the cards
-Sports will not be neglected

Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr., says the Ministry is set roll out an aggressive agenda to benefit young people. The Minister said over the past five years, the voice of young people has been neglected due to the lack of youth representation at the highest level.

Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Hon. Charles Ramson Jr.

The Minister was at the time addressing youth and sport club representatives at the Cabinet outreach in Linden on Thursday. “When policies, decisions, laws, regulations, etc, are made to set the framework in which we are governed, they must include those young voices. They must be tailored so that it reflects the wills, the wishes, the desires, the aspirations of young people in this country,” he said.

The Minister said Government is leading an aggressive transformation of the country and wants young people as part of the change. He noted that the Government is focused on training, education, entrepreneurship and employment of young people.

With that, he highlighted that steps are being taken to have the country’s training centres modernised and certified. He said that he has already commenced discussions with the Ministry of Finance to that effect.

We have also engaged the private sector so that we can have those certificates, after being certified, they are able to be recognised by the private sector so that when you go for employment, you can say I have gone through the relevant training and they are satisfied with the competency that you have been able to gain.”

Further, the Minister said Government not only wants young people be employees but also employers. He noted that the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce through the Small Business Bureau facilitates loans and grants for the establishment and expansion of small businesses.

However, the Minister also pointed out that “we (Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport) also have the Youth Innovation Project which we are trying to work in tandem with the Ministry of [Commerce]. We are launching this month, our version of ‘Shark Tank’ to help to breathe more entrepreneurship spirit and interest into the country.”

The programme is aimed at providing avenues for young people to become entrepreneurs through Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Mathematics and Spirituality, also known as STEAMS

Minister Ramson Jr. also pointed out that sports will no longer be neglected. He said the multi-purpose facility at the McKenzie sports club is going to be a key focus for development in the township. The Minister noted that over the past five years the facility was neglected, leading to its decline. However, Minister Ramson said funds have already been allocated for the facility’s upkeep.

“We want to make major expansions there and this is something we are committed to doing, we are going to do it and it will be done within the five-year period. We are also on an aggressive programme to enhance community centres, community grounds. We do not want grounds to be white elephants and inaccessible to people. We want some of those grounds to be parks where people can go and exercise,” the Minister said.

The Ministry is also distributing sports gear to clubs and communities across the country.

“There is money in our budget that we will be using for tournaments so that young people can be far more engaged in those tournaments,” Minister Ramson Jr. said.

He added that this is the reason the Ministry has been engaging the various sports associations. The engagements will foster better relationships and build the capacity of the associations to host tournaments.