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Guyana: Tackling Youth Unemployment-Start small, grow big

Business summit tackles youth unemployment

WITH youth unemployment still relatively high in Guyana, the Ministry of Social Cohesion through the Department of Youth launched an inaugural two-day Youth Business Summit, geared at creating an enterprising young population. And Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo has urged young entrepreneurs not to be afraid to start small and later grow their businesses.

The inaugural Youth Business Summit was launched at the Pegasus Hotel on Wednesday under the theme: “Bridging youth business leaders of tomorrow, today.”
The summit is geared at fostering community development and employment of youth in communities throughout Guyana. It stresses the incorporation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Architecture, Archeology, Anthropology, the Arts, Mathematics and/or Spirituality (STEAMS), a concept birthed last year at the launch of Youth Week.

Delivering the feature address Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo who is also performing duties of the President said the summit is geared towards empowerment and education, noting that one cannot become an engineer, a teacher, a business person or entrepreneur without the requisite guidance, training, knowledge and exposure. He said it is the embracing of opportunities for education, networking, skills-enhancement and overall empowerment that will allow youths in particular to fully realise the fundamental human right to the enjoyment of work.

Mr Nagamootoo reminded the gathering that not long after the coalition took office in May 2015, Government completed the drafting of a National Youth Policy, which was the final result of several years of research studies. The policy, he said defines youths as persons between the ages of 14 and 35, who make up some 68% of our population. “However, when we came to office there were no statistics on how many of our youth population had no jobs, or couldn’t get support to start their own businesses. But the Caribbean Development Bank in 2015 issued a report under the title “Youth are our future” that placed unemployment in the Region amongst youth at around 40%, which was probably also the level for Guyana. “

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