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'Act on youth issues'

Gline Clarke

Parliamentary representative for St. George North, Gline Clarke, has called for action instead of the “long talk” in dealing with youth issues.

Clarke made this call earlier today while speaking on the National Youth Policy in the House of Assembly.

Clarke said: “I want to say as a young man I had visions. I had a vision that one day I would see myself in the Parliament of Barbados. One day I would see myself being employed. One day I would see that training opportunities be extended to my people and I would see that Barbados and indeed the Caribbean region prosper.”

The former teacher charged that he saw nothing revolutionary in the document under consideration. He recalled that in the 1950s and 60s young people had hope because they could have migrated to metropolitan countries.

He noted too that in the 1950s most of the young people were involved in farming, trades and manufacturing, adding that the social programmes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s gave the young people hope.

Clarke recalled that in the 1970s when the level of unemployment had reached 12 per cent, it was the Tom Adams Administration that brought it down to less than ten per cent.

“I am saying that the focus of a new youthful government by 1986 was to provide opportunities and to move Barbados out of the mono-culture. It was a movement away from sugar, it was a movement away from manufacturing to financial services and that is what Tom Adams must be credited for,” Clarke said.

He pointed out that in 1994 youth unemployment ranged between 20 per cent and 23 per cent. He suggested that young people needed opportunities and access to training.

Clarke further suggested that there was a need to expand the number of students attending the Samuel Jackman Polytechnic. He pointed out that the Barbados Labour Party saw the need for job attachments for the country’s youth, but charged that the Democratic Labour Party had failed the young people in the area of housing. (NC)

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