Twenty Nine (29) Assistant Youth Officers today begin a two day induction workshop at the Youth Training Centre in Valelevu.
Recruited as part of the ministry’s new strategy for more engagement with the country’s young population, the new officers will also play a vital role in fulfilling the government’s national objective for youths.
Addressing the officers while opening the induction workshop, Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala said the role of the officers is an essential one in the development of youths throughout the country.
“Your position as Assistant Youth Officers is essential to the development of our clients - the Fijian youths, which will contribute to a better tomorrow for our society, our economy, and our country,” he said. “How we see ourselves will translate into how we present ourselves to those that we serve. If we see ourselves as servants, we are able to listen, we are humble, we value our clients the youths, we trust and we care.”
“All that will translate into how our Fijian youth react to you; it will make you accessible and approachable to them. For that to happen, we need to understand that youth are not there simply to be talked to and told what to do,” stressed Mr Bala.
“As youth officers, you, better than anyone else will know that over 70 percent of our population falls into the youth demographic and they are an influential part of the Fijian population.”
The minister also called on youths to engage fully with the new officers in their respective localities and to work with them in an inclusive and respective manner stating that the initiatives of government are for all Fijians and are inclusive irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and of persons with disability.
“Treat those under your care with respect and with duty and come out of this week with humility, knowing that you are working for the betterment of young people in Fiji, and in doing so, are striving for the betterment of Fiji itself.
Newly appointed officer Harneel Prasad while elated with his appointment also admits that there will be challenges along the way.
“The first few weeks will be essential as I strive to engage with the youths of my locality but I am confident that after a few weeks everything will fall into place,” he said.
“I concur with the minister that we are servants and must serve with humility and that will be my line of approach.”
Nausori lad Eliki Dakuitoga said that awareness will be crucial in order to rope in youths.
“I for one will use the first few weeks to create awareness in my locality in Nausori and get to know the youths I will be working with. The important thing is to treat them with respect and in an inclusive manner,” said Mr Dakuitoga.
The twenty nine (29) officers will commence work at their various localities from Monday next.