President David Granger, in this year’s Independence address, said the future belongs to young people and that the Coalition Government is working to prepare them to assume important roles in this future.

The Head of State noted that, this future includes greater opportunities, owing to oil production and the policies of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).

“The central aspiration of the independence generation was to secure a better future for their children and grandchildren. Young people, today, can look to a bright future with greater confidence, enthusiasm and hope knowing that their government is laying a stronger foundation for the good life for them and their children,” President Granger told the nation.

He explained that a National Youth Policy is guiding this preparation process and that this policy is based on four pillars; education, equality, empowerment and employment.

“The [Policy] explains the government’s vision as: a nation in which young people are united, educated, trained, safe, happy, healthy and integrally involved in the decision-making processes, while enjoying equality of opportunity and equal access to the resources of our country and are politically, economically and socially empowered,” the President stated.

Education, the Head of State reminded, is being enhanced at all levels – nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary and there is improved access to public services towards ensuring greater equality.

Even as, the issue of employment is being addressed through investment in enterprises, the government is preparing youths through the Guyana Youth Corps, which caters for “retraining our youth to improve their ‘marketability’ and to make easier the transition between school and the workforce.”

The Sustainable Livelihoods and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED); the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS); and the Youth Innovation Project of Guyana (YIPoG) initiatives are other examples of how government is helping to promote self-employment for young people, the president pointed out.

Empowerment of young people, he observed became a reality under the Coalition Government. “Local Government Elections, held twice in three years has evinced a surge in youth involvement in local democracy. Young candidates contested and campaigned in local government elections in 2016 and 2018.”

He noted further that, “Youth today have a greater say in decision-making. Young professionals and entrepreneurs are being consulted in the fashioning of our national Budget. Young people’s opinions and interests are taken into consideration in the development of Government policies.”