Youth Minister Justina Charles has called on young people on the island to take advantage of the opportunities that are made available to them.
She was delivering the featured address at the 45th graduation ceremony of the Youth Skills Training Programme held at the Goodwill Parish Hall on Wednesday.
One hundred and fifty-four young people graduated from the programme consisting of 67 males and 87 females.
Training was given in computer literacy, sewing, electrical wiring, agriculture, auto mechanics, auto body repairs and cosmetology.
Charles told the graduates that sometimes the opportunities are there but they are not embraced.
“Tomorrow we hear some of these very young people say there is no job, we are just sitting by the road and there is nothing to do. But did you avail yourself to the opportunities and did you take advantage of the opportunities that were before you?” she remarked.
Charles advised the graduates to encourage each other, adding that life is not always easy and sacrifices have to be made.
“You have to make up your mind to lose certain things, to earn what you want for the betterment of yourself,” she stated.
Charles added that a number of young persons have been employed under the National Employment Programme (NEP) that many have criticized.
“But this is the opportunity to prepare yourself and to work yourself into permanent employment,” Charles stated.
She explained that that very often when people apply for a job, the first things that are requested are qualification and experience.
“Where are the young people getting experience if they just come from college?” she queried. “Where are they getting the experience if they just came from secondary school. You’re just coming from University, where are you getting the experience? Yet they are requesting that they are requesting that you walk with experience.”
Charles said programmes like the NEP and the Youth Skills Training Programme give people the experience to put on their resume.
The Youth Skills Training Programme focuses on specific skills in an effort to meet the job market demands and to encourage self-employment among young people in Dominica. Permanent and part-time employment has been obtained by a number of young people who were recently trained.