Wednesday, December 19, 2012

PP government launches mobile job and career coaching initiative

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Monday launched a Job and Career Coach initiative of the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training agencies and other corporate partners.

This project will employ the use of two customised, high-tech and state of the art forty 40-foot buses, designed to operate as mobile office spaces and never before seen in this region.

The vehicles are fully outfitted with computers, internet access, drop-off boxes for resumes and professionals ready to offer career counselling and advice. The intention is that individuals who enter the doors of these buses will leave well enhanced, having skills in several areas including resume writing and interviewing techniques.

In her speech, the PM said, "Our government is committed to people development, we acknowledge that for our country to take its rightful place in the global community we certainly will depend on a skilled and competent workforce.

"As a caring government we have a responsibility to provide opportunities for our citizens to build the right skills set that are needed for strengthening our economy. Today’s launch is one of our many initiatives in people development.

"I have said on many occasions that for this government education and training are the major pillars for our economic development, given that knowledge, information and human capital are the main assets of an advanced nation.

"These career coaches will bring education and training to our communities.

"If you are in Toco, Mayaro, Charlotteville or Cedros these buses are available to you. No community, no village, no one will be left out.
We as a government are committed to decentralizing opportunities for all...

"We are developing programmes that will target those who are disadvantaged in society by supporting them in moving out of the vicious circle of low skills, low productivity and low wage employment...

"These Jobs and Career Coaches will provide a change, they will now ensure that nobody in Trinidad and Tobago is left out of developmental opportunities, skills building and accessing the labour market. 

"Far too often in the past we have focused on an elite group, where opportunities were provided for a limited few and for many of us to benefit from these opportunities we had to travel long miles to gain access...

"In the past two years the government has focused on developing programmes and bringing new initiatives...

"In the Ministry of National Security we will be delivering on our crime plan for more effective law enforcement and policing.

"The health services will see expansion of health care to all areas of Trinidad and Tobago.

"As you all see we are committed to improving on the physical infrastructure of Trinidad and Tobago.
"We will expand agriculture and tourism and engage in new investments in energy focusing on alternative energy development. 

"We will build a seamless education system that will allow for job creation.

"And this is important to note as in 2011, the Central Statistical Office reported a decrease in the unemployment rate from 5.2% in the third quarter to 4.2% in the last quarter of 2011.
These figures are significantly lower than that in 2010 of 6.3% under the previous administration. 

"Therefore, with this new Jobs and the Career Coach initiative, we will see the unemployment figure further reduced to improve the standard of living of our entire nation.

"This initiative is mainly targeted to our youth employment market since they are our future and they will shape the future policies of our country.

"Because of the efforts and dedication from my Government, our youths will have access to the critical resources and materials that will be instrumental in aiding them with job placements.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we must note that this Career Coach initiative is not a stand-alone programme. The Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training has several other projects that will support this initiative.
"The Workforce Assessment Centres launched in May 2011 will partner with the Career Coaches to expand Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as part of a seamless system to allow for alternative pathways to further and higher education. 

"The Workforce Assessment Centres will provide the Career Coaches with the Technical Experts to help assess candidates and potential employees so that they can be certified with the Trinidad and Tobago National Vocational Qualification (TTNVQ) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).
"Another new initiative that will be delivered in the New Year and aligned to the Career Coaches is the Workforce Assessment Centre Field Officers (Trainees) programme, where young people will be recruited and trained to work in their communities. 

"They will visit businesses and trade shops and encourage workers who are not certified but have a skill to visit a Workforce Assessment Centre or arrange a Career Coach to visit their communities for these workers to be assessed and eventually certified.

"As I mentioned earlier my government is committed to bridging the equity gap and we see Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and lifelong learning, playing a pivotal role in achieving this and eliminating the scourge of social and economic exclusion.

"We are about inclusion, building on the transition of work to school through the return of a national apprenticeship system where no child drops out for any reason.

"We are relating all our training to the needs of the labour market and aligning to workforce development.

"We see skills’ development contributing to decent work, productivity, employment growth and enterprise.

"The Coach is designed with all that in mind, it is frame breaking, it is about people development and it will help empower our citizens.

"When I undertook the responsibility of leading the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I pledged to provide citizens with equal opportunities in accessing programmes introduced under our government.

"Consequently, I am pleased to inform you the people of Trinidad and Tobago that this programme will be yours; to develop your potential, to achieve your goals and be the citizens that will take our country to economic strength not only in the region but on a global scale.

"These buses have been arranged to start this initiative as early as tomorrow, that is, December 18th, 2012 throughout various locations in Trinidad.

"The proposed schedule starts at the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain and will travel to Harris Promenade, San Fernando, then to Arima, Point Fortin, Couva, Princes Town, Penal, Chaguanas, Diego Martin and Sangre Grande.

"Some individuals have reservations about their current state of employment, and in these areas our counsellors can be of assistance, as they can help persons to: better utilise their talents in their present career, grow in their personal lives and within their present occupations, and better think about their choices as regards career changes and even retirement plans.

"The Jobs and Career Coach can also help persons to decide what they want to achieve after retirement, as well as, it is an opportunity for persons to observe how the contribution of their skills and their talents can work to the benefit of others.

"Worldwide organizations and institutions provide students, young adults, graduates and mature persons with guidance and assistance, helping them to grow on educational, personal and professional levels.

"There are organisations such as the International Coach Foundation (ICF) which offers business and professional coaching internationally; the Career Coach Academy which works towards successful career advancement; and the Career Coach Institute and Career Thought Leaders, who offer workforce development coaching and counselling and career development, job search, long-term career management and fulfilment to professionals and job seekers internationally.

"The Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training’s Jobs and Career Coach, under the People’s Partnership, here in our twin-island republic, offers all of these services and more to the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, further working to fulfil the Government’s mandate toward social, economic and workforce development.

"As many of these international organizations do, the Jobs and Career Coach works with persons through these crucial transitions in their lives.

"Overall, the Jobs and Career Coach initiative offers many benefits, as it can help persons to have a new outlook on their lives and career choices, improve their performance levels and better recognize the paths they want to follow, be more focused, and enhance their performance levels and promote better decision-making...

"My fervent wish for you in this yuletide season, is for us all to use these coaches as the means to live the rest of our lives as a champion. Merry Christmas to you and your families and have a very bright successful and productive 2013."

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Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
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