Skip to content

Productive adults

  • by

It’s a fact that youths today make up the larger part of the population of almost every country in the world. This presents certain challenges for policy-makers to develop, implement and maintain programmes and activities which must be economically and socially oriented to satisfy their (youths’) desires.
Generally, it is well known that the absence of well-thought-out programmes with respect to youth development impacts negatively on our young people, and sometimes even lead to them resigning themselves to lawlessness and other anti-social behaviours that are damaging to society.
In Guyana, an interesting project – Youth Resilience Inclusion and Empowerment (Y-RIE) – was launched on Tuesday. The aim of the United States Government project is to guide youths into productive adults – away from crime and violence. It targets at-risk youths between ages 10 and 29. Based on the local media reports, Y-RIE’s aims to help systems-strengthening activity based on a public-health approach to violence prevention and incorporates positive youth development approaches.
Former Caricom Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, some time ago, had said the majority of victims as well as perpetrators of crimes reported by the Police are young males 18 to 35 years old. He pointed to the fact that there are a number of socio-economic determinants of crime, the least of which is the high youth unemployment in the Region. This is surely reason to be concerned, as right away one would begin to worry about the kind of future these persons would have, and the contributions they would make to their societies, if any at all. Certainly, this is enough reason to cause Governments and policy-makers to take a closer look at what is happening in their individual countries, and take steps to remedy the situation.
Certainly, there is a great need for intervention in order to combat the current challenges facing young people. In order to prepare young people for workplace success, job training programmes need to go beyond technical instruction and also teach “life skills” such as communication, reliability, and teamwork. This push to teach youths life skills has been validated by employers who have consistently reported that, above all, they want to hire employees who possess workplace-ready skills, such as communication, teamwork, motivation and responsibility. Technical skills, they say, can be learnt on the job.
In addition to teaching youths the life skills employers look for, there is need to introduce complementary life planning activities in this component. These activities help youths in assessing who they are, their aspirations for the future, and define realistic steps towards achieving these goals.
Guyana has a number of programmes geared towards equipping young people with various skills for the world of work, etc. This is commendable, but more focus needs to be placed on combining teaching life skills with the various academic or technical subjects. Meaning, these programmes should include assessment and identification of ways to build competency and skills supportive of healthy behaviours, to help young people as they mature into adulthood.
Additionally, institutions such as the family and religious bodies need to take up their roles more seriously, as happened before. Historically, the older generation had managed to transmit their beliefs, values, traditions, customs, and institutions to the younger members of their societies. This was achieved largely because of the impact of agencies of socialisation, such as the family, religion and the schools. Today, the impact of these institutions has been challenged and undermined by new forces, particularly television and the Internet, and pop culture as a whole.
It is well accepted that progressive countries in the world have strong systems for engaging youths in policy formation and in creating or altering programmes designed to support youths. We believe that if our young people are to make more mature and responsible judgments and engage in activities that are the hallmark of a socially-productive adulthood, certain support systems for development must be present in the environment. Teaching life skills is a good way to start.

The post Productive adults appeared first on Guyana Times.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.