Barbados Steps Up Investment in Youth

The government of Barbados is continuing to invest heavily in the country’s youth.

The government is set to pump a little over $5 million immediately into the formation of a Barbados Youth Advance Corps (BYAC) and that number will jump to about $20 million by the end of the 2022 fiscal year, Prime Minister Mia Mottley revealed during a post-Cabinet press conference on Aug. 15.

The Advance Corps will replace the Barbados Youth Service, and take in between 800 and 1,000 post-secondary school leavers each of the next three years.

“It is intended to take in young people who have left school in the last two years,” Mottley said.

She stated that the Barbados Youth Service would be collapsed into the BYAC and young people between the ages of 16 and 20 who left school within the last two years would be exposed to the essential training over a two-year period. She explained that they would be exposed to digital transformation, whether graphics, coding or even robotics, for those who were mechanically oriented.

“The two-year period will be a combination of learning, discipline, citizenship reinforcement and there will be the opportunity to participate in some form of work attachment — first job initiative, apprenticeship or mentorship, depending on the individual,” Mottley said.

She added that the participants would also learn about construction, design, conflict resolution and personal financial management and budgeting.

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