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‘We have to do a whole lot more to engage our youths’- Hon Wheatley

‘We have to do a whole lot more to engage our youths’- Hon Wheatley

Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) has called on Virgin Islanders to do more to engage local youths and create new plans on the way forward.

The Minister made the statement in a recent social media post, along with a photo of youths engaging in district cleaning exercise.

“There is something about this picture that tells me we have to do a whole lot more to engage our youth,” he said in the social media post of December 7, 2021.

“We have to rethink where we are and how we are to get to the next level,” the Minister further lamented.

Hon Vincent O. Wheatley in a December 7, 2021, social media post said, 'There is something about this picture that tells me we have to do a whole lot more to engage our youth. We have to rethink where we are and how we are to get to the next level, I will leave this here for now.'


Youths remain the future - Premier Fahie


While no response was received up to publication time for the Minister to further lament on his statements, over the years, Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has stated that local youths remain the future of the territory, and as such, his administration will make moves to empower future generations.

In his 2022 budget address delivered on November 11, 2021, Premier Fahie said his Government continues to pursue programmes to engage local youths with the aim of helping them to develop positively and to become empowered.

“Through the Be Youth Centre (BYC), which was opened in April 2021, we endeavoured to develop programming including social and life skills, job preparation, digital literacy, introduction to technical and vocational skills, and entrepreneurship.”

He said in previous years, activities such as Youth Talks and Game Night, for example, were successfully implemented, “Some of our other plans had to be deferred due to COVID-19; however, efforts are underway to redesign these programmes so that they can be offered virtually as far as possible.”

In his 2022 budget address delivered on November 11, 2021, Premier Andrew A. Fahie said his Government continues to pursue programmes to engage local youths with the aim of helping them to develop positively and to become empowered.


MoE & Premier's Office working to develop programmes - Premier


Hon Fahie further revealed that the Ministry of Education and the Premier’s Office are working together to develop a digital literacy programme in secondary schools by March 2022.

“Your Government will continue to provide scholarship opportunities through financial assistance to individuals to enable the pursuit of tertiary level education both locally and abroad. And I must say, I do commend the Minister of Education for working hard to revitalize the Scholarship Abroad programme.”

At the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Hon Fahie further said the marine, solar, and financial services training programmes will continue in 2022 by Governments, as many of the local people have benefitted from these programmes.

He said the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports will continue to promote healthy lifestyles through community activities and is working on Public-Private Partnerships to create entrepreneurship programmes for VI's youths by June 2022, as reflected in their budget.

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