“We will need Mining Engineers; we will need Civil Engineers, we’ll need fitters, we need masons, we need carpenters, we need plumbers, we need a whole range of skills. And apart from what’s going on out there, it’s a question of the massive infrastructural development; we will have roadways and deep-water harbours and massive development in this country that will require qualified people.”

This was view was shared by Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder to the dozens of residents gathered in the auditorium of the Vryheid’s Lust Primary School for a Community meeting this evening.

Minister Holder said this in the face of the rapid development that is expected in the next few years following First Oil in 2020. He was supported by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC., who pointed out that the youth of today have chances at education and training that were not available 20, 30 years ago and that they ought not to allow these opportunities to pass.

Accompany the ministers, Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry spoke on the reintegration of mothers into schools.

She explained that in some cases the government was “giving them [young mothers] full support to get back to school, and when I say full support, we’re giving them a stipend, we give them uniforms, some of them even get daycare facilities if they go to the Carnegie School of Home Economics. So, we have gone over and beyond the traditional support we give to students, just as an incentive and encouragement to ensure that they get back into the school system.”

Minister Henry pointed out that these and other educational undertakings such as a complete curricular reform – remain a clear indicator of the government’s commitment to ensuring a holistic and inclusive approach to educating the youth.

The community meeting was convened following a walkabout of the surrounding communities by the three ministers, where they were given a first-hand view of residents’ challenges in the community.