Saint Lucia To Implement National Youth Policy – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Youth Development and Sports Minister Kenson Casimir has disclosed that the government is to enact a National Youth Policy agenda to protect the interests of young people.

He said this move is geared towards charting the path for implementing the National Youth Policy, which will integrate the corporate sector and other stakeholders.

The measure will seek to develop young people over the next few years and tap into the country’s plentiful young talent and skills.

“It’s a policy document that we’ve been working on for a long time,” Casimir told reporters at Monday’s regular media briefing.

“We believe that young people have a major role to play in the development of this country,” the Gros Islet MP declared.

Casimir noted that the youth policy will chart the way forward and identify critical areas for people to join and contribute to young people’s development.

“We are going to shape the future of our next generation,” the minister added.

Casimir further aligned the policy to establish Saint Lucia’s inaugural Semi-Pro Football League (SPFL).

He said young people stand to benefit economically from the SPFL, a project that will also enhance their learning capabilities and help them pursue a career path.

The minister said the Taiwanese government has provided $ 200,000 for skills development, an essential project component.

Casimir stated that the authorities felt it was an opportune time to establish the SPFL after some lengthy discussions over the years.

Consequently, to ‘get the ball rolling,’ the government injected $1.3 million as ‘start-up’ funds into the SPFL venture.

“We needed to get a start, we could not have continued with just staying on the sideline and have people saying that football is not developing,” the minister contended.

He acknowledged complaints about young people training for multiple hours without compensation for their efforts.

Casimir drew reference from the SPFL’s tagline, Leveraging football to transform lives, emphasising that the youngsters will also learn to develop lifelong learning skills.

“With this programme, we are going to be having a parenting workshop for these young men,” he explained.

“We know that a lot of the complaints are about fathers in the household and their role,” Casimir added.

“And so, with this programme we are going to be bringing all the young men into a room to have discussions (and) to train them on what it means to be a father in the modern world,” he said.

Casimir said the programme would also involve signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education, the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC), and the Taiwanese government.

He noted that “money management” will be factored into the programme to instruct the young men on “how do you actually use your money to sustain your livelihood?”

The minister hoped corporate sponsors would ‘buy into’ the SPFL venture, noting that they would receive a return on their investment.