-President Granger says coalition plans to provide 10,000 jobs during Decade of Development
By Alva Solomon
PRESIDENT David Granger, on Wednesday evening, assured Guyanese youths that the APNU+AFC Coalition will ensure that the country’s youth benefit from a minimum of 10,000 jobs and career paths which his government will realise in the various economic initiatives during the Decade of Development.
The President was, at the time, addressing thousands of supporters of the coalition at the Diamond Market Tarmac, where the old and young gathered to listen to him and other officials present their plans for the Decade of Development, onward from 2020, should the coalition be re-elected to another term at next month’s elections.
The President told the jubilant crowd that his government has already created the path for job creation for the country’s youths through a series of initiatives. He listed the re-vitalisation of the Guyana Youth Corps as one such move.
He said that the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) disbanded the National Service, leaving many persons, including school leavers, out in the cold. He told the gathering that the administration re-established the youth corps and according to him, 1000 young Guyanese will be trained annually by the institution over the next 10 years. “I will do what is right to ensure young people get training,” he said, as he noted the training centre at Kuru Kuru is already operational and bearing fruit.
As he listed the response by the government to addressing youth unemployment, the President said that through the Sustainable Livelihoods and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) initiative, 2500 young Guyanese were able to gain tangible benefits from the project. He also spoke about the government’s flagship programme, the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) initiative, which he noted has benefitted 3800 Guyanese, mainly youths in communities across the country.
He said a “real leader” invests in education and programmes geared at developing the youths of the nation and he noted the various educational projects, including the Five ‘B’s programme, in which 30 school buses provide free transportation to school children. He said over the past four and a half years, his government spent $170B on education and will continue to spend more as it invests in education.
He also noted that institutions, such as the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), have provided a boost to many young Guyanese in kick-starting their careers. “We have to hand this country over to you,” the President said to the youths in the crowd, who responded with joyous applause as he made his remarks. The President re-assured the youths in the audience repeatedly, that young people can look forward to a career under a new APNU+AFC government post-March 2020.He also noted that the APNU+AFC government will continue to invest in various education projects and he also hinted at removing the fee from public university education here.
As the President elaborated on the strength of the coalition, he told supporters that in 2015, the coalition received 61 per cent of the total votes for the Demerara-Mahaica Region, but he urged them to increase this figure to more than 75 per cent at next month’s elections, with an ultimate aim of 300,000 votes in the region.
“You the people are the ones who will determine what will happen to them [the PPP] on March 2,” the Head of State said. “Let us continue to control this region for the sake of the nation,” the President urged the coalition’s cheering supporters.
The President told supporters of the coalition that the PPP is at its weakest position and he noted that since the passing of the Late Former Presidents, Cheddi Jagan and Janet Jagan, the party’s fortunes have been going downhill.
Citing Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo as the main reason the PPP has been losing support since the 2001 elections, the President said that the coalition’s aim surrounds the development of Guyana.
He noted that in two other regions, East Berbice-Corentyne and the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, the PPP’s support base has been dwindling since 2001 and according to the President, the APNU+AFC is working to gain a majority in those regions at this year’s elections. “Guyana is witnessing the decline and fall of the PPP,” the President said, as he noted that Freedom House is suffering from a “serious leadership challenge” from inside and outside of the party.
The President said the APNU+AFC is building from strength to strength and he assured supporters that he will continue to provide the leadership the country desires.