Millions for youth

dlpellertonalashleyBarbadian youth interested in establishing “small community based businesses in the creative industries” will be given $5 million in government assistance to help them do so.

As part of its general election 2013 manifesto which is yet to be released, the Democratic Labour Party will also be introducing a number of “innovative centres” and other mechanisms to develop the interest of young people in “emerging technologies”.

The plans were outlined by Minister of Family, Culture Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley last night as he addressed a DLP youth rally at Ellerton playing field, St. George.

“We are serious about stimulating the interest of young people in their own development and I want to announce tonight and you will read more in our manifesto when it comes out, but one of the things that we want to do we are going to put in place a number of measures by means of innovative centres, and other mechanisms to tap your interests in a number of emerging technologies,” the Christ Church West Central candidate told the audience. ”

And I know many of you are very interested in mobile technology, in Web-based applications, animation, in videography among others. We will put in place systems, backed by appropriate funding, to ensure that you can grow your businesses.

“I also want to say that there is a special loan guarantee scheme of $10 million which is already in place and financed under the National Insurance Scheme. It is our intention to place half of that … behind assisting small community-based businesses in the creative industries,” he added.

The minister said this would be good news for local artistes, including musicians, “and those persons who continue to see the arts as a business will have backed behind them funding to ensure that they can grow their respective businesses”. ”

That to me is what you call progressive development and I also want to say tonight that we will be putting in place systems to ensure that your involvement in ICTs will help you will your employment, and that youth unemployment will be backed by serious approaches and systems which we will develop,” he said.

Lashley added that having introduced and started to implement a National Youth Policy following consultation with Barbadian young people, a new DLP administration would intensify its programmes to uplift the youth.

“We have done more than just put in place a National Youth Policy. We have also indicated that we are going to diversify the economy of Barbados because it is not enough to simply say that we need to get jobs for young people,” he stated.

“And while the other side after 14 years of not putting you in their confidence will come to you and say ‘Well, we are going to give you jobs’, that is a joke. We have started the process.” (SC)

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