On Friday, February 05 2021, Minister of Youth Development and National Service, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds, presented a statement on the National Youth Policy for Trinidad and Tobago 2020-2025 to the House of Representatives of the Parliament.
The Minister emphasized that the National Youth Policy provides the Government and other key youth development stakeholders, with a guiding framework that will: “positively influence and transform the youth development landscape; support the institutional strengthening and strategic repositioning of youth development agencies; support the mainstreaming of youth in development processes in Trinidad and Tobago; facilitate stakeholder engagement and participation in youth development initiatives; and provide a vital tributary in Trinidad and Tobago’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery Plan and the wider 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda”.
Minister Hinds also highlighted the participatory process used to formulate the Policy which he stated, was informed by, “the findings of several community consultations, key informant stakeholder surveys and interviews, desk and peer reviews, focus group discussions with youth, youth leaders, representatives of youth serving organizations, civil society, as well a National Youth Survey and aspects of the emerging global youth and policy development discourse, both regionally and internationally including the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond as well as the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan”.
During his presentation, Minister Hinds informed the Honourable House that the definition of the youth cohort was widened in the new National Youth Policy from 12-29 years to 10-35 years and that the youth population constitutes approximately 436,000 young people (40% of the national population of Trinidad and Tobago).
The Policy, Minister Hinds noted, is bolstered by eight (8) Strategic Pillars which work cohesively to enhance the overall quality of life for our nation’s youth, so they make purpose-filled strides to becoming civic-minded citizens, who contribute to the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago. These pillars, he emphasized, will be operationalized through strategic youth development interventions, utilizing a youth mainstreaming strategy and will be supported by timely investments in youth empowerment initiatives, along with inclusive and active participation of young people.
Minister Hinds stressed, that the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) will continue to create opportunities to engage all stakeholders, in an effort to achieve and implement the objectives set out in the National Youth Policy 2020-2025, which has as its main goal: “to contribute to the development of intellectually accomplished, politically conscious, culturally literate, economically empowered, socially connected, technologically savvy, healthy young people; living in peaceful, diverse circumstances, communities and nurturing environments, and are strategically engaged as active citizens and co-creators of Trinidad and Tobago’s economic recovery and sustainable futures”.
The Youth Development and National Service Minister urged all stakeholders to join his Ministry, MYDNS, and do right by the nation’s youth through the implementation strategies guided and undergirded by the National Youth Policy, as “we intend to leave no youth behind”.