Unemployment amongst youths is interconnected with socio-economic issues such as mental health, domestic and gender violence, and alcohol and drug use.
Minister for Youth and Sports, Jese Saukuru, highlighted this during his ministerial statement and discussed how unemployment causes more people on the streets and is also associated with a high risk of suicide rate.
Saukuru says Fiji has a young population where 7 percent of the population is under the age of 40, which is significant and indicates the growth of better economic conditions for the people.
He says it is vital for the young population to build a sustainable future as the Ministry of Youth and Sports recognises the urgency of education, awareness and employment opportunities for the people.
The Minister says there is a drastic drop in employment post-COVID-19 with the country recovering from the recent immigration of workers overseas has many negative impacts not only on the economy but the lives of many young people in the country.
The International Youth Day was celebrated with a theme of Green Skills for Youths towards a Sustainable World and had the expected outcomes such as increase green employment opportunities, enhance equal literacy, strengthen green collaboration and public awareness regarding the importance of green skills investing in the local workforce to address youth employment collectively.
While responding to the ministerial statement, FijiFirst MP Ioane Naivalurua says this is a subject that we should all be passionate about, our young people, as the future of Fiji is in the hands of the young population.
Naivalurua says if they are not looked after, how can we ensure or expect that the future of Fiji will be peaceful, prosperous and stable.
He says the initiative, efforts and attempts by all especially the government in directing a pathway for the young people will reflect later.
He asked three questions to the Minister of Sports, if we are prepared to advocate strongly for our youths and their future, can we give them that space that they can live, enjoy and know that they are supported fully by us, the communities in the village, urban, rural, at home, can we give them that space.
Naivalurua further says the government has been talking about the yellow ribbon program, bringing them back on track, for those that have gone off track.
He adds they will do anything and everything to support the youths.
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