Minister Wake Goi and Secretary Anna Solomon made a point of intervention to the World Bank funded UYEP- Urban Youth Employment program for the second phase. “The second phase of World Bank funding of US$35million must also benefit rural youths and not only Port Moresby and Lae…said Secretary Anna Solomon” The Government has referred the project team to report to the Department for Community Development and Religion and the Ministry regarding the Second phase of funding for UYEP. After 7 years of implementation of the program with NCDC, the Minister Honorable Wake Goi said it will be very much measurable if we involve one rural district or two in the project design as an intervention. The UYEP project can be experimented in the rural districts areas but with inclusion of DFCDR input on rural youths through the National Youth Development Authority.
The initial project design’s main objective was to; provide disadvantaged urban youth between the ages of 16 and 35 in the National Capital District (NCD) with income from temporary employment opportunities, and to increase their employability. This will be done through three components: (1) Youth Job Corps: Community awareness, mobilization and screening campaign followed by basic life skills training and 40 days of labor-intensive employment for eligible youth; (2) Skills Development and Employment Scheme: Additional Pre-Employment Training (PET) and a further five months of on-the-job placements/training for eligible youth; and (3) Project Management: Implementation and technical support to NCDC. The project aims to impact 10,500 beneficiaries in the NCD and produce more than one-million work days. However, after (7) years of assessment it has come back to the drawing board for consultation. The Secretary Ms Solomon and the senior management team are now advising UYEP project design team to reconsider and include four pilot districts from four regions and to implement the program using the District Community Development Centers Project.
The program should embrace Youth Empowerment program rather than youth employment program. This will require adjustments to the current project used by NCDC and their project team to target rural areas. Department has its project design which will be shared with the team for Rural Urban inclusive youth skills development partnership program. It is now time to go rural instead of spending all $35 million in two main cities, Port Moresby and Lae. The Team led by NYDA through leadership of the Acting Director General Joe Itaki, is now currently working on a win-win project appraisal for the funding.
Key intervention here means that without the Community development input, the funding will be cancelled. It’s a loan and not a grant, therefore when it cannot improve lives both at district and urban it must be stopped at all cost. Present at the consultation meeting was Minister Hon Wake Goi, 1st Secretary Godwin Kambar, DFCDR Secretary Ms Anna Kavana Solomon, Ms Mandi Newton, Lead project coordinator UYEP, Project Manager Tom Gilis, National Youth Development Authority A/ Director General Mr Joe Itaki and Acting Executive Manager to the Secretary Mr David Nugi