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CDB Youth Forum to tackle climate change, youth employability

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – With the Caribbean being both one of the most climate-vulnerable regions in the world and a region with some of the highest rates of youth unemployment globally, these issues pose two of the biggest challenges to the region’s future.

This is the context for the upcoming youth forum, Caribbean Youth for Innovation and Resilience (Youth FIRE) which will take place next Tuesday, June 7 as the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) 52nd Annual Meeting continues.

The forum will consist of two-panel discussions each homing in on the issues which were identified by a consultative group of Caribbean youth and youth leaders as being among the most pressing concerns faced by young people across the Region.

The first panel, Climate Change and Health will take a deep dive into the lived reality of Caribbean youth facing down the impacts of climate change, with a specific focus on the impacts to their physical and psychosocial health. It will also present innovative, inclusive solutions that can be scaled up across the region to support young people affected by climate change.

Panelists for the session will be Dr Quacy Grant, a medical doctor and president of the Guyana National Youth Council, Jamilla Sealy of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network and Dr Colin Young, executive director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.

The session will be moderated by Dr Keron Niles, Lecturer, Institute of International Relations at the University of the West Indies and the MC will be Renee Atwell, Dean of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Corps.

Additional perspective will come from interventions by Dr Anya Malcolm-Gibbs a clinical psychologist and climate change negotiator, Onika Benn.

The second panel, Youth Employability: Skills for 21st Century Jobs, will address how youth are engaged to secure a future of work, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant effects on the labour market and business in the region.

The discussion highlight youth who are creating employment opportunities with innovative ideas within traditional, new and emerging sectors, highlighting the skills necessary for pivoting post-COVID-19 and will also highlight the particular challenges and barriers to employment and entrepreneurship faced by disadvantaged groups.

Panelists will be Keithlin Caroo, executive director at Helen’s Daughters, Nicholas Kee, community lead of developers circle and Malcolm Wills, co-founder and manager of Dynamic Enterprise. The session will be moderated by Tracy-Ann Ramkissoon, a banker and business continuity associate and the MC will be Kendell Vincent, chairman of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council.

Further insight will come via interventions from entrepreneur and assistant financial controller Ariella Missick, Obrina Wickham, a student and youth representative and Katrina Reece-Burley, an advocate for the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.

The seminar will be streamed live on CDB’s Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube platforms, starting at 10:00 am (AST).



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