The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children, and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) has officially signed an agreement with the Solomon Islands National Youth Congress (NYC) to support the Youth@Work programme under the auspices of the Congress on the 1st May 2020. A one year grant of 3 million SBD plus office assets has been given to the National Youth Congress to support Youth@Work programme activities in 2020.
The revitalization of NYC and integration of Youth@Work Programme is a key component of the new National Youth Policy 2017-2030 and Strategic Framework for Youth Development and Empowerment in Solomon Islands. The Ministry remains committed to supporting the National Youth Congress with the revitalization of its key functions and activities including the management of the Youth@Work programme.
The Youth@Work programme has been handed over by the Pacific Community (SPC) to the Solomon Island government under the leadership of the MWYCFA in December 2019, after seven years of management.
The Permanent Secretary Dr. Cedrick Alependava has assured the National Youth Congress Executive Committee that his Ministry is working very hard to support National Youth Congress to roll out the Youth@Work programme and its other key activities. Permanent Secretary Dr. Alependava further added that this is another milestone that the MWYCFA has taken to support the development of 64% of our population that are under 34 years of age.
He also emphasized that the government wishes to see the following;
- It is important that the programme is extended to all Provinces and not just Honiara, Malaita and Western Provinces;
- Equally important is to tailor training programmes to suit Solomon Islands setting; particularly looking at values and ownership;
- The role of the Churches and Faith-based organizations should be integrated with the programme;
- Need for public awareness of the programme as many youths do not know about the programme;
- A very important programme that the government must continue to support with increased efforts.
The General Secretary of the National Youth Congress Mr. Hika Gone said, "I am pleased that the government has shown a commitment to support the National Youth Congress to roll out the Youth@Work programme. As the program was created in order to fill a critical gap in youth employment through the placement of young people into career pathways, the National Youth Congress will consider the opportunities for its expansion and improvement to the changing needs of young people".
He further added that there is a lot of work that needs to be done by the National Youth Congress to support youth development in the Solomon Islands, therefore he appeals for further support and collaboration from all youth stakeholders and development partners to lend a hand because youth is a cross-cutting area for development.
The Youth@Work programme will start off in Honiara, Western, and Malaita with expansion to other provinces to be considered as resources allow.