Friday, April 12, 2024

Govt to look at special camps


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Government is moving towards more specialised camps as part of the island’s developmental strategy.Minister of Youth, Family and Sports Stephen Lashley, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme’s Camp Enterprise yesterday, said the move was a way to broaden the economic base by involving “young people in the art of business and commerce”. Lashley, speaking to the DAILY NATION after the launch at Queen’s College, said along with the National Sports Camp and Camp Enterprise, the Government would also be looking at areas of innovation and culture.“The area of culture, as you know, is very promising. We have just looked at the cultural industry policy within the Government and, certainly within the camp setting there is much more that we can do to focus our youngsters on culture and opportunities in culture,” he stated.The camp budget, he said, was about $2.5 million but was vital to the overall growth potential of Barbadians, so there was no cut in that expenditure.This year there are 62 summer camps with close to 9 000 children.“If during the summer we can continue to engage our young people . . . on the various areas that are crucial to our economic growth, it means that we are actually narrowing our deficit. We are reducing the welfare state, reducing dependency and inculcating the kinds of values in our young people that are crucial to our country,” he told  instructors, directors and the nearly 80 students gathered for the opening.Lashley explained that while the Government had grown a larger fiscal deficit as it sought to safeguard jobs and protect the vital fabric of the country, it could not continue forever.“What we have to do in the short term is grow our economic base and develop a new entrepreneurial plan – and that is what this camp is all about.“It is part of a vital plan in the Government’s strategy to grow an entrepreneurial base, that over the next five to ten years will begin to see vital inflow of foreign exchange coming into Barbados, so that we can maintain our standards of living,” he said.YES executive director Selma Greene in welcoming students to the camp, told them it was an opportunity to get involved in an entrepreneurship education from early.“This camp is a very serious camp. In a few years we hope to see you knocking at our doors indicating that you want to start your own business,” she stated.Greene told students the purpose of the YES camp was to create an awareness of entrepreneurship and  promote self-empowerment. (CT)


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