With the launch of the National Youth Policy and Strategy 2020-2035, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is determined to be more inclusive in their drive towards providing the nation’s youth with employment opportunities. 

The National Youth Policy and Strategy 2020-2035 was launched on Tuesday at the Youth Centre in the capital, and it represents a review of the initial National Youth Policy which was published in 2002. 

The review, according to Permanent Secretary (Administration, Finance and Estate) at MCYS, Pg Mohd Amirrizal Pg Hj Mahmud, was first launched in 2018, in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS). 

A National Youth Survey and Youth Development Study Index were conducted within the same year, where the main contributors consisted of youths from different walks of life, and as such, the subsequent findings were then used in the formation of the new youth policy and strategy. 

He explained that there are four core strategies and 16 initiatives outlined within the youth policy, touching on several significant areas relevant to the sultanate’s own Youth Development Index. 

Among the core strategies were Education, Employability and Decent Work puts emphasis on equipping the nation’s youth with the skills and knowledge that are needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Add to that, the four core strategies also cover Inclusive National Development, which puts focus on providing a fair opportunity for all of Brunei’s youth to participate in the country’s development. 

“The policy extends beyond our able-bodied youths, but also youths with different abilities as well as underprivileged youths, it’s about bringing these vulnerable groups of youths in. 

“The policy extends beyond our able-bodied youths, but also youths with different abilities as well as underprivileged youths, it’s about bringing these vulnerable groups of youths in. 

To be involved and to have ownership of the policy, and to provide everyone with fair opportunities,” said the permanent secretary In an interview with media.

He went on to explain how the ministry, has been striving to provide youths of different backgrounds and abilities with platforms that can hopefully generate opportunities, especially in the area of youth entrepreneurship. 

“We (MCYS) have been active in collaborating with several stakeholders like IBTE to initiate incubation programmes, and we try our best to follow their journeys and provide help whenever needed,” he said. 

“Currently, we are looking into providing spaces at local supermarkets, specifically for youth-led products and we will continue to look at options that can further help our youths,” he added. 

Guest of honour at the event, MCYS Minister, Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan POKSM DSP Hj Abidin said that the policy has been adapted and in line with several national initiatives including Wawasan Brunei 2035, the Digital Economy Master Plan 2025, the National Climate Change Policy and the Manpower and Employment Council Strategic Plan.

“We must ensure that this policy is not just rhetorical, it should be utilised at the fullest as a living document that is not only dynamic but also flexible,” he said in his speech. 

He added that the recent establishment of the Youth Advisory Group led by Legislative Council member, Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa Ash’ari will also play a critical role as a separate body that will conduct “checks and balances” on the implementation of strategies to ensure that they meet the desired goals. 

This article was first published on December 05, 2020 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 118

The Bruneian  | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN   

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