PPP slams Granger over youth unemployment remark

The PPP today said arguments by Opposition Leader David Granger that youth unemployment was a “ticking time bomb” were incredulous and it said that had the Amaila hydropower project gone ahead more jobs would have been created by companies attracted by cheaper energy.

In a press statement, the PPP said:

“We find the concern and statement by Mr. Granger perplexing as this is the very individual and his party by extension who only a few short weeks ago voted against crucial pieces of legislation in the National Assembly for the realization of the Amaila falls hydro project….

“It is a common understanding globally that cheap and reliable energy is a cornerstone for the economic development of any nation.

“It fuels particularly the expansion of the manufacturing sector, attracts both foreign and local investments and as a result creates numerous job opportunities in various fields and sectors for the skilled, semi-skilled or unskilled labour force.”

It declared that this was the vision which was behind the efforts for the Amaila falls project.

“Mr. Granger and his party cannot on one hand sabotage efforts which will lead to the creation of jobs for Guyanese, particularly youths and then at the same time gripe about youth unemployment being a ‘ticking time bomb’”, the ruling party declared.

It said in reality it is Granger who was sitting on a ‘time bomb’ as he was running out of excuses to his constituents.

“Make no mistake about it; they know that the actions of the APNU leadership were against their best interest and that of the nation.

“That is the ticking time bomb Mr. Granger has to deal with and we shall continue to monitor his attempts at (defusing) the rising resentment and anger at his and his party’s anti-nationalistic actions”, Freedom House said.

Last week,  Granger said that despite educational initiatives launched by government, a large portion of Guyanese youth are “not in employment, not in education, and not in training.”

Granger cited an International Labour Organisation (ILO) National Unemployment Report—based on Guyana’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey undertaken over a decade ago—that estimated that about 44% of Guyana’s working age population are “not economically active,” with the majority of them being the youth.

This reality, he told reporters, is “owing to the fact that school-leavers are inexperienced and have a long wait before they find their first job.”

This ILO figure is a far cry from the approximately 12% unemployment rate declared by government, but Granger said that the government’s statistics do not present the reality of unemployment in Guyana since the formula used to calculate the social phenomena only considers individuals of working age who are actively seeking a job.

He also noted that the Director of Prisons, in a statement last year said that 75% of inmates were young people. More recently, a review conducted by the Home Affairs Ministry found that unemployed males, between the ages of 18 and 25, were the main perpetrators of the crimes committed in July in the city.

There was no response to these points in the PPP statement today.

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