Young people will be front and centre in PPP Govt – Jagdeo
– points to party’s track record of promoting young talent
Contrary to the coalition Government, which is dominated by senior citizens at the top of the hierarchy, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is assuring that his party, if elected into Government, will propel youths into positions that will allow their dynamism to bring about real change.
Jagdeo was at the time being interviewed on the radio show “Hot Seat” by radio host Curtis Armstrong, popularly known as “DJ Casual” when it was pointed out that the majority of the voting population are youths.
“We have always kept our promise to young people. I started off in the PPP as a Minister in my 20s. I became President at 35 years old. I’m still in the party. When I was President, over 60 per cent of my Cabinet was in their 20s, 30s and 40s. You had young Permanent Secretaries. You had young people representing us everywhere.”
“It’s the same with the party leadership now. If you look at it, it’s a combination of young people and older people. Look at our representation in Parliament. And most importantly, we chose a Presidential Candidate who is now 39 years old. And he came into Government when he was in his 20s. He has experience.”
In fact, Jagdeo noted that the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) Presidential Candidate, Irfaan Ali, has more experience in Government than President Granger himself. And he pointed to the fact that the older generation even dominates the narrative being spun by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC).
“He [Irfaan Ali] has experience, unlike President Granger himself. He [David Granger] didn’t have governmental experience when he came into office. And so this is why they are lost, visionless, floundering at sea. So to us, young people are important, not just for sports or culture,” he said.
“You cannot be burdened by the past generation. Every time you open the papers, it’s Lincoln Lewis, people who are in their 60s, 70s already, trying to define our future. Where are the young people? We want to get past all this stuff. The young people of this country want to move forward.”
Jagdeo noted that under the coalition Government, housing has slowed and jobs have dried up. These things, he said, are issues that youths care about. It was earlier this year that Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr George Norton had revealed that youth unemployment was at 40 per cent.
In April of this year, hundreds of young people who were unemployed had crowded the National Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, where the Department of Youth held its first job fair to address the scourge of unemployment.
Senior Research, Planning and Development Officer within the Department, Adeti De Jesus told Guyana Times that the unemployed youths turned up to the Sports Hall before 07:00h to be interviewed.
According to her, when the officials arrived to open the doors, youths were already lined up outside. In fact, youths who had become desperate for employment after being at home for a number of years took the opportunity to apply online for the job fair prior to Friday’s event.
Some 701 online applications were received, De Jesus said, while other youths showed up to the event without being registered. Those persons were referred to the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency where they were interviewed for future employment.