Created: March 17, 2022 08:00
The National Youth Policy sets out the Government’s plan to empower and engage Bermuda’s young people through 2026 while offering a unified approach to addressing the issues they face and providing them with the support they need to have a future. positive and productive.
The policy aims to support young people between the ages of 14 and 24, as this is often understood as a period of transition from childhood dependency to adulthood independence.
Arianna Hodgson is a government senator and deputy minister for labour, finance and health
Young people are vital agents of social, cultural, economic and political development. Knowing as much as possible about young people in our families, neighborhoods and across the island is the first step towards understanding their needs and concerns.
Seeking to understand the issues facing young people in Bermuda, and examining existing data and the various ways they are already participating within the local community can build a more meaningful dialogue with our young people.
Prime Minister David Burt and Youth Minister Ernest Peets are joined by National Youth Policy Task Force Chair Arianna Caines and the rest of her team at the launch at the Community Center in central area Sammy Wilson last month (photograph by Mark Tatem/Communications Department)
Understanding the experiences of young people aged 14 to 24 is particularly important for those in this age group who often feel that, as a group, their issues and opinions are taken less seriously by older people, government agencies and elected officials. Listening to and working with young people representing their interests strengthens our community and helps produce many positive results that parents, educators and the wider community want to see island-wide.
The participation and engagement of more younger people can lead to new and constructive decisions that work for everyone involved.
The purpose of the Bermuda National Youth Policy is to set clear goals and objectives to develop and empower the youth of Bermuda. Eight goals have been identified, focusing on protection, education, anti-social behaviour, employment, sport, health, civic engagement and diversity.
As the saying goes, what gets measured gets better. The lead and lag indicators are the way to measure progress.
The headline indicators are forward-looking and identify early signs that the policy is on track to achieve its objectives. For example, when Ernest Peets, the Minister for Youth, Culture and Sport, recently announced the creation of the National Youth Policy Task Force, a vital policy objective was achieved, indicating that the government is on the right track.
At the same time, lag indicators measure the current results of past efforts. In other words, lag indicators let the task force and the public know whether policy goals are being met.
The working group is responsible for producing annual progress reports and collecting data on the situation of young people in Bermuda. The NYP Task Force is committed to strengthening existing partnerships and forming new collaborations with stakeholders from government and community organizations.
For a policy to be effective and successful, it must be owned by all concerned and therefore publication takes place after extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
Through the National Youth Policy, we can help young people participate in society and be part of the solution to their problem – from improving services provided by government and social agencies to providing guidance from authorities when making public decisions. Our young people are becoming active agents in shaping policies and laws that pave the way for justice, fairness and a secure future for the generation that will have to live with the decisions we make today and that will affect in the years to come.
• Arianna Hodgson is a government senator and deputy minister of labour, finance and health. The National Youth Policy website, accessible at www.youthpolicy.bm, provides information and updates on its progress