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Step up to the plate - Holness tells young people

Published:Saturday | January 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM

OPPOSITION LEADER Andrew Holness has encouraged disillusioned young people in Jamaica who said that they would be willing to surrender their citizenship to live in another country to "step up to the plate and take charge in order to make a difference".

The National Youth Values and Attitudes Survey, conducted in April 2014 by the Centre for Leadership and Governance (CLG) at the University of the West Indies, Mona, revealed that most of the youths surveyed were dissatisfied with the opportunities available to them, with 43.2 per cent below the age of 18 saying that they would be willing to give up their Jamaican citizenship.

At the same time, 49.3 per cent of young adults surveyed indicated that they would also change their nationality.

But Holness, speaking to reporters after the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, said that was not the way to get change.

He said he was not surprised by the results of the survey "as the younger generations are totally disconnected from the process of governance".

The Opposition Leader told journalists that he often asked young people what they were doing to bring about change in the governance process. "Do you think we are going to change it by staying on the sideline and criticising, or are you going to change it by stepping up to the plate and playing your role?"

"They need to take charge of their society, stand up and say what it is that they want, find leadership and support that leadership, they cant just be saying, 'Well, there is no leadership'. They have to stand up and say, 'We are going to support and we are going to participate'," Holness said.