Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PM outlines training initiatives with focus on GATE and training for underprivileged youth

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said on Monday her People's partnership government has kept its 2010 manifesto pledge of securing and expanding GATE – the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses.

"We have delivered on our promise and for the first time in our country’s history, GATE is now available for technical and vocational education and training.

"We opened the GATE to about 3000 technical/vocational students who were previously unable to access GATE funding for tuition.
They will now join the approximately 55,000 students who are assisted by the GATE programme," she told supporters at a political meeting of her United National Congress (UNC) in Avocat, South Trinidad. 

She added, "The GATE programme is secured under my Government contrary to the propaganda being spread by some, will continue to be available to every citizen desirous of pursuing tertiary education."

She said part of her government's success story in training has been the workforce assessment project.

"So far, approximately 2000 persons, our citizens, male and female from Trinidad and Tobago, among whom are our plumbers, masons, carpenters, auto-mechanics, those in the hospitality and tourism sectors who possess skills and competences in their various occupational areas, can now be certified with the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) at these WACs. 

"What this means is they can now be more marketable and so earn better well-paying jobs or even better, have the confidence to create jobs for themselves," she said. 

"It is with great pride that I say that in addition to creating employment we are committed to developing our human capital by the implementation of two Community Career Coaches programs to offer Career Services to the Communities within Trinidad and Tobago. 

"This service is implemented by the National Training Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training. 

"The need for the provision of this type of service emanates from the fact that whilst there are many education and training programmes supported by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, many citizens still do not access or have access to the necessary information to select education and training programmes that is aligned with their skills and abilities and the guidance required in planning their careers. 

"This lack of information, often leads many persons to make uninformed decisions in respect of their careers, with expectations and life goals that remain unfulfilled. 

"Labour market information remains limited to the wider public and accessibility to information with regards to training and development opportunities is needed. 

"There are a few career fairs conducted annually, however, they are to location and time, with the public having to make numerous calls or visits to multiple locations to find basic information. 

"Given the needs of the youth and the young adult population in respect of the development of a career path, the Ministry’s strategy to provide mobile career services will be specifically designed to meet each individual’s career goals," Persad-Bissessar said. 

"The Career Coaches are self-contained vehicles equipped with state if the art equipment.These mobile centres will offer career services which specifically geared with: 
  • Education and training opportunities 
  • Employment opportunities 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Career guidance and counselling 
  • Career development and management 
  • Discovering and assessing unique skills and career abilities 
  • Providing Programme Referrals 
  • Adult Literacy 
  • Facilitating registration for all approved/accredited programmes 
  • Providing career guidance services including resume and cover letter writing services and job interviewing techniques
  • Creating awareness of all agencies and their programmes
"For Trinidad and Tobago, I see that all citizens would have easy access to the Career Coach Services free of charge at any of its scheduled locations.

"However while this initiative will be available to all citizens, the main focus will be placed on youth within the age group 16 to 30 years and will include:
  • Newcomers to the World of Work 
  • Jobseekers 
  • Overqualified and Unemployed 
  • Retrenched and Displaced Workers 
  • Ex-Caroni Workers 
  • Former cane Farmers 
  • Unemployed Youths 
  • School drop-outs 
  • Adolescents 
  • Re-entrants into productive society 
She said regions to be targeted in the first instance would be the under-served rural areas of Trinidad and Tobago with the career coach providing services at various schools, libraries, shopping malls, community centres, public gatherings, community functions, places of worship. 

Persad-Bissessar added that her vision for Trinidad and Tobago is one where creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation thrive to power lasting prosperity. 
She added the the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) is promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in education and it is hoped that through the influence of the UTT the career coach can foster the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in our citizens as they will move on to starting their own businesses as well. 

Persad-Bissessar asked citizens to reaffirm a commitment to develop all of TT.
"Let us re affirm our commitment to the words of our anthem here every creed and race find an equal place (and) May God continue to bless our nation," she said.

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai