Youngsters face gloomy future, minister warns

| 04/12/2011

crystal-ball-earth.jpg(CNS): The minister with responsibility for youth painted a gloomy picutre for the next generation at a special workshop last week. With climate change and chronic unemplyment a part  of their future, students learned that they faced intense global challenges growing up and heading off to the workforce. Mark Scotland told the young students that the current multiple global crises would fall disproportionality on their generation and they could no longer afford to make poor choices as they may not get a second chance. But amidst the doom and gloom they also faced a future of fantastic technological advances, he said.

While the National Youth Policy came into force earlier this year after almost a decade in the making, the reality of its implementation took place this week at the Marriott Beach Resort, when public school students participated in a workshop on leadership, produced by the Youth Services Unit and National Youth Commission.

The workshop, Choose to be a Positive Trendsetter, was the first in a series of similar events designed to get students thinking about what life choices they were making and the path that those choices would lead them on, officials revealed.

In an opening speech at the event, Youth Minister Mark Scotland warned the young people that they were growing up in a world facing multiple crises – climate change, chronic unemployment, over population and dwindling resources.

“It’s unfortunate that the adverse effects of these issues will fall disproportionally on you, the next generation.  As such, just chancing it will simply not cut it,” he said. He toldthe students that in the past if young people made a wrong choice in life they would invariably get a second chance, but this was not necessarily the case any longer.

“If you make the wrong choice once, unfortunately, you may end up losing your life or go to prison early on, so the choices you make nowadays have less chance to be corrected. It’s about making the right choice and sticking to that choice,” Scotland said, adding that there was a flip side to the gloomy outlook.

“You are enjoying the fruits of fantastic technological advances and you will have access to extraordinary new careers. People are open to new ideas as society embraces the young like never before,” he said.

The challenges facing young people were also balanced with opportunities, however the caveat was ensuring that the youth had a road map of where they wanted to go in life, and then sticking to that plan.

Speaking about the importance of leadership within the community, Scotland said that even if the young people did not aspire to being a politician or a CEO one day, just being a social or community leader was equally important. Leading was not about telling people what to do, it was about serving others.

“I never aspired to become the minister of health,” Scotland said. “My primary motivation all my life is to serve my community, contribute to a better future for our country and steer people and resources in the right direction. Being a minister is not the prize; serving is.”   

See Scotland’s speech below.

Category: Local News

Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Civil Service will save you

  2. The Spin Cycle says:

    Go into Politics kids.  Then you can earn a great salary, wonderful pension and benefits and give everyone else the bad news.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All this is saying is that the children should strive to be the best that they can be.  It is a competitive world and Cayman is on a global playing field. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Minister forgot to add the "shelving" of any environmental protection laws for the entire UDP term.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Negative headlines like this have become a staple at CNS. The Ministers says  “You are enjoying the fruits of fantastic technological advances and you will have access to extraordinary new careers. People are open to new ideas as society embraces the young like never before,” and CNS headlines the story as "Youngsters Face Gloomy Future, Minister Warns". CNS, there is now a clear pattern of your casting Cayman in the worst possible light. What is your agenda exactly?  

  6. Whodatis says:

    I am liking this news report and the steps being taken by the ministry – finally a bit of "real talk" to the youths, albeit somewhat discouraging.

    Hopefully this thread will not devolve into  anti-Cayman rhetoric from a standpoint which suggests this situation is unique to us.

    A quick analysis of ever major country, including our "mother country", proves the entire (western) world is facing this very reality today.

    Quite ironic isn't it – considering that logic suggests mankind should be at its highest peak ever.

    What is most perplexing is the shambles in which the "greatest" nations now find themselves – nonetheless, they continually push for all others to copy their blueprint for "success".

    We have done so in many ways and we are now witnessing what is perhaps the lowest point in general morale, community spirit  and economic stability of our people.

    • Castor says:

      Cayman isn’nt alone with youth problems for sure. All western countries have the same problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      You hope this thread wont devolve into anti cayman rhetoric, but then happily include rhetoric against other countries.

      Hypocrite much?

      • Whodatis says:

        Ok, try to keep up …

        Re: "You hope this thread wont devolve into anti cayman rhetoric, but then happily include rhetoric against other countries."

        I have clearly acknowledged that Cayman does in fact have a challenge on its hands – as does every other western nation today.

        Unlike what has become the norm here on CNS, I did not dive into the local circumstances and discuss the matter as if it was some absurd anomaly.

        Can you spot the difference?