Prioritise youth-empowerment programmes, minister tells ASEAN

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds


THE Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports urged ASEAN members to give higher priority on programmes that promote equal educational opportunities, entrepreneurship, job opportunities and life skills for youth.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah highlighted the thrust on youth entrepreneurship and employment during the plenary session of the 9th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY IX) and the 5th ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Youth held in Cambodia yesterday.

“Today’s youth are facing many challenges such as job security, generational gaps, threats of extremism and uncertainty in identities,” the minister said during the meeting.

“Hence we must continue to work together in developing programmes to address and overcome these challenges by creating condusive environment for our youth to progress and prosper in an environment which will help to enhance their creativity and their innovativeness and employability,” he stressed.

A press statement from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports yesterday said that the minister shared the initiatives taken by the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in preparing the youth in facing challenges of today’s world.

Among the initiatives include the transformation of the Sultanate’s education system, which places emphasis not only in academic aspects but also the holistic development of the learner, as well as offering technical and vocational education and training for those who excel in technical and skills-based learning.

However, YB Pehin Dato Hj Hazair said, producing a well educated and highly skilled youth is not enough.

“It is also very important to equip our youth with high integrity by inculcating moral and ethical values, as well as national identities,” he said, adding that the soft skills such as discipline, empathy, caring and leadership will help to sustain the country’s future development.

During the session, the minister spoke about youth development programmes which were designed to be inclusive and gave due attention to marginalised youths where they are equipped with employable skills at the nation’s Youth Development Centre (PPB).

In addressing youth unemployment in the Sultanate, he also mentioned the set up of the Local Employment and Workforce Development Agency (APTK) which is tasked to assist jobseekers with various schemes and programmes.

Accompanying the minister at the meeting were Dato Paduka Dr Hj Affendy Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin, the permanent secretary at MCYS as well as senior officials from the ministry.

The theme of this year’s AMMY is “Young People: Building ASEAN Community”.

Attending the meeting were ASEAN Ministers and their representatives responsible for youth, as well as senior officials from China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the Secretary General of ASEAN.

The Brunei Times