Minister of Youth Development and National Service, Fitzgerald Hinds, has plans to create more youth centres across the country.
He said government had established an inter-ministerial committee to look at the operations of apprenticeship centres or so-called youth camps and a “very comprehensive” study was completed, which included the value of the centres and their problems, and this will be used a guide.
Hinds, in his contribution to the budget last week, said some of the challenges reported included the gangs and drugs, increase in other programmes competing for resources, desire for higher stipends, and a negative stigma from institutionalisation. But, he said, the benefits identified far outweighed those and they are determined to establish them.
He said money has been allocated in the budget for these new centres, including $25 million for the creation of centres at Chaguaramas and Wallerfield. He also reported the country’s seven activity centres will be “reactivated with full force.”
Hinds said there were currently two camps, one at Chatham and one at Presto Praesto and there are plans to develop, modernise and digitise them.