Upward Movement for Our Youth

Entrepreneurship and youth employment are key factors used to drive the economy of any country. It is true that the youth are the foundation of our future. In providing better opportunities and a solid foundation for them, the government is able to secure a better future for men and women who are able to make informed decisions and create more innovative opportunities to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Early exposure to the less traditional sectors such as culture, technology, and sports can help to stimulate further growth. Jamaica has a lot to offer in the sports industry; with an already unyielding track record in the in athletics and great potential lying in other areas such as tennis, cricket and football. There has also been worldwide interest expressed into the history behind our people and what culminates to form the “true Jamaican experience”. In the areas of technology, [an emerging sector for the country] animation and education, the advancements which we have made are minor compared to the scope of growth which is left to be achieved with the right collaboration and support with the government.

In the area of sports, Jamaica has been able to maintain its popularity in the field of athletics from as early as the early 20th century . This popularity has shifted the attention from other important sports such as cricket, tennis, and basketball. In fact sports encompasses a lot more than athletics but as a result of the popularity and support from the international community, athletics has been the main focus in the primary school to university level. The government has an important role to play in providing a comprehensive experience to our youth by exposing and educating our youth on the different types of sports and the industry as whole. This interest will lead to greater desire in the industry and will encourage greater support from all members of the community. Also, by providing mentorship and internship opportunities youth will have the opportunity to explore the lucrativeness of a career in each specific field. With the creation of more comprehensive programs aimed at educating and training youth it will lead to the creation of jobs and making each member of youth more marketable to provide training not only locally but also on an international platform. The sustenance of the program will depend on the funding and training received from the different trade agreements that the government would need to negotiate between different countries that have developed strong programs in areas where we are most weak. The government could provide an incentive for these countries, offering assistance in areas where we have most strength.’ Unity is strength ‘and the unification of government bodies, CARICOM states and funding agencies will assist in a creating a more comprehensive sports industry aimed at stimulating youth employment and entrepreneurship.

A culture is the way of life of a people. As a society evolves the culture changes and the need for culture preservation becomes increasingly more important. Someone aged seventeen in 2014 is not able to know what it is like to ride a donkey, walk to school barefoot or even use a kerosene lamp as the main source of light. Not only teenagers from today’s society but individuals from other countries have also become more interested in cultures from other countries and the experience within each historical period. The education of culture and the creation of educational campaigns aimed at culture preservation will encourage youth to embrace their history with passion. That passion can be channeled to create entrepreneurship pursuits. One key example is the Outameni Experience in Trewlany which was aimed creating a Jamaican cultural experience to take each individual journeying through time. This facility was able to create jobs for many youth, boost our tourism product, market our cultural experience and ultimately boost our economy. As are result of the lucrativeness of this business, it was sold to the government for Jamaican 180 million dollars. Closer collaboration with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation will encourage not only youth but all members of the society to become stakeholder in building our culture. Working together to create new products and learning how to incorporate different aspects of our culture like dancing, storytelling, singing into viable business ventures for young people. This collaboration will further lead to new local and export markets being created, more jobs for our youth, and moving economic development forward.

Jamaica’s technology sector has been an emerging sector and in the past couple of years we have had advancement in the creation of global educational and animation products. Specifically, with the creation of Edu-focal, a social learning platform to facilitate the study of CXC and GSAT examinations. Also, graphic design companies such as Reel Rock have had their animation work featured on popular Disney and Nickelodeon cartoons. Through partnership efforts with companies such as these and the government can give young boys and girls should have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the advancements in the sectors and how they can get involved and create new trends in the field. Internship and training opportunities should be made available as soon as there is an interest in animation, applications, and software technology products so there can be a greater appreciation for the sector and encourage greater contribution. With a greater appreciation it will stimulate and greater desire to learn from an earlier age and a strengthening the technology industry. This will boost the creativity in the minds of your our youth to create more innovative products and allow us to be marketable on the global platform. Partnership and Internship opportunities with local and international leaders in the industry will help to stimulate our youth to create more companies like Edu-focal and Reel Rock, and further strengthen the Jamaican brand as a stalwart in the technology industry, in the Caribbean and the International region.

The government is responsible for the direction and the control exercised over the citizens of a country. Hence, the government plays a key role in the further development of our youth and the promotion of entrepreneurship. Through partnership with government agencies such as the National Centre for Youth Development, Jamaica Business Development Commission and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission we can stimulate the desire for entrepreneurship and stimulate stakeholders to facilitate youth employment. Through mentorship we can give young men and women the opportunity to experience the viability from the eyes of another, encouraging informed decisions. As a nation we can all be united in securing a better future for all through youth employment and entrepreneurship.