Samoa National Action Plan on youth employment launched

Government officials, Diplomatic Representatives, UN Agencies, and youth delegates after the launch of the Samoa National Action Plan and the start of the National Youth Week programme at the Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi conference complex

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 08 DECEMBER 2015: The Samoa National Action Plan (SNAP) for the development of youth was officially launched yesterday by the Minister of Women Community & Social Development (MWCSD) Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua in a ceremony attended by  Government officials, diplomatic representatives, UN agencies and various youth groups. On the theme “My Choice, Our Life”

The Plan targets “promoting and creating more jobs for young men and women in the villages.”

“Sound national policies  are a critical tool for coordination of efforts, prioritization and resource mobilization towards achieving the desired outcomes of having more of our young  people independently  earning a living either through working  in other peoples businesses  or running one themselves,” said Tolofuaivalelei.

He said Government continues to prioritize the empowerment of youth development hence the programme within the Ministry.

The SNAP programmed is divided into 3 parts:
·         To summarise the current situation  of youth employment in Samoa
·         Policy options identified  to address youth employment challenges
·         The operation aspects relating to the implementation  of the policy and action plan.

Tolofuaivalelei said the Ministry’s goal relating to youth development is to increase youth jobs  to improve their livelihood, promote pathways  to sustainable employment by building youth, skills and opportunities and to ensure a trained pipeline or talent  for local economic and private sector activity.

The development of SNAP was a collaborative work between MWCSD , key stakeholders in the Government, the private sectors with technical support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

“We are indebted to ILO and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for their financial and technical  contribution which made  this project possible,” said Tolofuaivalelei.

The Minister hopes that this is would be a start of many  great opportunities for Samoan youths  and are excited about the possibility  of continuing partnership with ILO and other development partners in implementing SNAP.

He acknowledged the young people  and partners  who have contributed  to the development of this National Action Plan on Youth Development.

He quoted the Samoan proverb “Ia e tupu I se fusi” (May you thrive in a swamp).

“The Samoan proverb expresses the hope of parents  and elders for their children to grow in such a manner that the future of the family , it’s prestige  and stability is assured, despite the many challenges faced,” said Tolofuaivalelei.

The day also marked a  week long programme highlighting various youth  activities inlcuding a focus on young people with special needs.