Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 16:30

Jamaica Labour Party Deputy Spokesperson on Labour and Social Security, Floyd Green, is urging the Government to use this year’s Budget to tackle the grave problem of youth unemployment. Mr. Green says that for the past two years the policies of the government have resulted in the unemployment rate among young people spiraling out of control, and that urgent steps must be taken to address it in this year’s budget.

Mr. Green notes that the latest information from the STATIN indicates that between October 2012 and October 2013 more than 8,000 young people between the ages of 14 – 24 were added to the unemployment line, bringing the unemployment rate among our youth to 37.7%. This, Green stated, is more than double the average youth unemployment rate across Latin America and the Caribbean which now stands at 16.6%. 

The Deputy Spokesperson stated :“The truth is that young people are facing the most difficult times they have every faced. More of them are experiencing increased levels of poverty and with no safety net framework to support them, many of them have resigned themselves to watching their dreams and aspirations pass them by, especially our secondary and tertiary graduates.

“The Government must show in the estimates of expenditure it tables tomorrow, that there is a realignment of priorities to ensure that there are targeted interventions to curb this impending disaster and to restore hope to our young people.”

Mr. Green is advocating for the Government to allocate funds to the development of a National Apprenticeship Scheme including the undertaking of a Youth Agricultural Apprenticeship Programme.  He is also advocating for the fast tracking and financing of a regulatory mechanism and framework for Venture Capital Financing to facilitate the transformation of our young people's ideas into viable businesses.

In concluding, Mr. Green stated that the Government must waste no more time in tackling the problem of youth unemployment, and must demonstrate real opportunities for youth in the Budget.