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ASSBIFI tasks govt on youth engagement

The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), has tasked the three tiers of Government, the Federal, States and Local Governments on their active participation and commitment to ensure full engagement of youths in the country.

In addition, the body stressed that it is only through meaningful involvement and inclusive policies and decision making processes of youths that solutions to some of the key problems experienced by young people can be resolved

Comrade Oyinkansola Olasanoye, ASSBIFI’s President, in an interview with newsmen yesterday, said: “We call on Government to engage the youth because economic engagement has become more challenging owing to the lack of decent employment opportunities

“To that effect, the respective roles of young people, policy makers, and the institutions through which they work should be clearly defined. While young people need to play a central role in addressing issues that affect them, they cannot tackle the multitude of challenges alone, particularly in the economic and employment area”.

According to the ASSBIFI President, “with high youth unemployment and underemployment in many parts of the world, young people are finding it increasingly difficult to secure quality jobs that offer benefits and entitlements.

“Employers have the advantage of being able to offer young workers contracts that provide little in the way of career security, health-care benefits or pension schemes, knowing that young people with few other prospects are not in a position to bargain and are poorly aligned to organise into collective bargaining units to try and improve their situation.

“As a consequence many young people end up in precarious work situations, with a short-term or non-employee contract (or no contract), little or nothing in the way of pension benefits, and no health insurance or unemployment insurance.  This interferes with a young person’s ability to plan for the future and become financially secure.

The Labour leader specifically said: “As the number of youth lacking a firm foothold in secure, long-term employment has declined, so has their participation in trade unions. At present, engagement in economic life is occurring largely on the terms of employers and not young employees”.

She noted that greater attention should be given to youth engagement at all levels within the development agenda., adding that “there has been increased recognition of the value of young people’s participation as it pertains to both youth and wider development, as well as formal acknowledgement of the need to actively address the many challenges facing a growing youth population, including unemployment and underemployment, poverty, inequality, political unrest, and social exclusion”.

“Involving youth as collaborators, team members, leaders and decision makers in addressing the day-to-day issues that affect them offers a broad range of benefits to both young people and the community, from greater community connectedness and social awareness of the individual to enhanced participatory decision-making and democratic governance in community institutions Such involvement also sends youth the message that their participation has intrinsic value”, she said.

“Although the extent of their participation has varied, youths in the country have always been actively engaged at the community level through volunteerism, peace building efforts and sporting activities. Engagement at the community level often provides young people with their first experience of active participation in a cause or activity, serving as a gateway to further and broader engagement throughout life as well as opportunities for leadership building”, she added

The labour leader, however, urged the three tiers of Government to initiate policies that would facilitate youth engagement through institutionalised processes, adding that countries experiencing power vacuums are particularly susceptible to the infiltration of violent groups and extremist elements as young people can often be coerced or otherwise forced out of economic necessity, for example) to join groups or organisations that espouse violence

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