The establishment of the National Youth Policy will put an end to an era of randomly responding to issues affecting our youth.

This was emphasised by Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, during a National Youth Forum Symposium, which was held recently at Solidarity House.

The Minister said that the Policy was "based on extensive consultation among key stakeholders and…recommendations of a wide cross-section of young people…"

Minister Lashley disclosed that the Draft National Youth Policy was now completed, and its most important message was that "the Government considers young people to be the main catalysts for the changes necessary to propel us forward…"

The Draft was developed based on extensive research which was conducted on youth affairs in the Caribbean in 1995, and which showed that young people have been victims of cultural penetration, erosion of core values, and alienation from their cultural, social and physical environment.

The policy aims to address nine major goals: to reduce unemployment, to improve education, to strengthen the family within the community, to restore core values, and to prevent the spread of gangs.?? It also aims to help young people acquire affordable housing solutions, to enable them to tackle lifestyle diseases, to facilitate participation by the youth in the political process and to get young people to better protect the environment.??

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