ATHENS — All actions and policies must ultimately be oriented toward the goal of creating better conditions for young people in Greece in the future, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday during an event organised by ruling New Democracy's youth group ONNED. Mitsotakis made the opening speech at the discussion on "Young People that Excel in Greece and Abroad, which was held as part of the 'project2030.gr' forum organised by ONNED at its offices in Moschato.
"Whatever we do must reflect in better prospects for young people. All policies are linked by an invisible thread that connects our generation with yours," Mitsotakis said, praising ONNED for its dynamic initiative and for giving young people throughout Greece the opportunity to participate in a dialogue on how the country will be changed going forward.
The prime minister referred to the changes being made in education, starting from preschool, and the need to adapt the educational programme to the needs of a rapidly changing world, expanding the curriculum to address the challenges of the times, such as environmental education, or including previously taboo subjects, such as sex education.
"We must in some way adapt our schools and educational programme to the labour market…to instill the concept of skills, what we call soft skills, move away from memorisation toward critical thinking," he said.
Referring to a planned strike by high school teachers on the day when children are to sit exams for admittance to model and experimental high schools, Mitsotakis noted that this was one of the benefits of the recently passed labour law, since if the strike was ruled illegal by the courts, it could not then return "via the back door", through a secondary or higher-level trade union organisation.
He also raised the issue of technical/vocational training, which he said had been largely overlooked in the previous system, and referred to the changing job markets of the future:
"It is certain that you, in your careers, will need to constantly retrain and possibly change professions," he pointed out.
Mitsotakis then emphasised the government's focus on creating a great number of good-quality jobs for young people in Greece, saying the pandemic had delayed these plans. He stressed the need for an "investment explosion" to create new jobs and to reverse the brain drain and referred to the recent signing of contracts and concessions for major developmental projects, such as line 4 of the Athens metro, the E65 motorway and transfer of Hellinikon.
The prime minister was introduced by ONNED President Pavlos Marinakis.