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Youth unemployment is a “time bomb” – APNU

APNU Chairman David Granger, GYSM executive member Dave Danny Jr. and GYSM Chairman Christopher Jones MP.

Opposition Leader David Granger says the country is sitting on a “time bomb” where youth unemployment is concerned with the government applying band aids to a chronic problem.

He was speaking at an APNU news conference on Friday where he cited a decade-old International Labour Organisation survey which found that 44 percent of the working age population was not “economically active.”

Granger also pointed to a CARICOM report which stated that joblessness among young people in the regional bloc was around 23 percent.

“Unemployed young people feel that they are in cul-de-sac. They find themselves ensnared in a position from which they cannot move forward or backward. This has been made worse by the crisis in the public education system and the failure of the PPP/C administration to promulgate and pursue a coherent national youth policy,” he said.

Granger pointed out that in 2006 Youth Minister Dr. Frank Anthony had promised that a National Youth Policy announced in 1994 would be reviewed but up to now nothing has been forthcoming.

He also criticised the fragmented nature in which the government was going about tackling unemployment noting that there were five government ministries with short term programmes.

“APNU calls for the construction of permanent institutes for technical and agricultural education in every region. The Partnership calls for the promotion of an integrated programme for job creation. It calls on the PPP/C administration to promulgate a national youth policy for Guyana’s youths in order to avert a dangerous social crisis,” Granger stated.

According to the APNU official, whilst those institutes would not be the ultimate solution to the problem he believed they could lead to it. He added the issue of youth unemployment would be put on the table when they head back to the National Assembly after the recess.

Guyana Youth and Students Movement Chairman and MP Christopher Jones added that the institutes should be geared towards the needs and opportunities available in the regions.

“For example, Region Six as you know we’re now doing oil exploration, is there any training for young people in that region that should we find oil they can take up these jobs as a result of that, we don’t have that,” Jones said.