Over the next 120 days, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment will pursue a new mission, which will concentrate on digitised research and engagement, collaboration and, above all, jobs and opportunities.
This revelation was made Wednesday by Minister Dwight Sutherland during his remarks at the Ministry’s Youth Stakeholders Consultation at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
“The measurement of success for the development of our nation’s youth must be defined by our ability to unlock their potential while equipping them with the skills and providing the platforms and opportunities for them to excel at life,” Sutherland said.
To achieve this, the Ministry will seek to become the most “technologically advanced” within Government in how its officers on the ground carry out their day-to-day duties within communities around Barbados.
“Tablets in the hands of our officers on the ground; real-time spatial mapping and trend analysis through powerful software; and sophisticated use of social media platforms fuelled by compelling campaigns and achieving deep engagement must become our new normal,” Sutherland emphasised.
In addition, partnerships with the third sector must be made in order to impact and transform Barbadian youth. He said his vision involved utilising “the island’s most impactful creative groups, sports organisations, service clubs and community groups.
“In doing so, we will be able to fast-track the transforming of the lives and overall well-being of tens of thousands of young Barbadians by leveraging the reach, skills and energy of youth-centric third sector organisations,” he stated.
Sutherland expressed the hope that the creation of a Youth Economy Work Group – a collaboration among Government ministries, the private sector, investors and educational institutions – during the next few months, would lead to the development of a Barbados Youth Economy Road Map. The document, he explained, would contain policy and strategy recommendations capable of producing over 1,000 high quality, new work opportunities for young people, every year.
Some of these new opportunities would be in areas such as renewable energy, the creative economy, internet economy, the ocean and maritime sectors, modern agriculture and smart manufacturing.
“The world has changed. Barbados has changed. The Ministry of Youth and its work must change. We must innovate, while re-dedicating ourselves to … our core clients and assets, our young people,” Sutherland stressed.