$20m for youth opportunities

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has reallocated $20 million to address the employment and other challenges of Tobago's young professionals, Chief Secretary Orville London disclosed on Thursday (9th February 2012 at the close of a one-day Young Professional Opportunities Forum at the Mount Irvine Bay Hotel, Tobago.

The Forum was inspired by the Assembly's recognition of the need to expand and enhance the opportunities available to Tobagonians, as they contribute to the continuing protection of Tobago's heritage.

The session which was attended by over 200 young Tobagonians began with presentations of the personal experiences of five Tobago young professionals - Kennethia Douglas, Project Management Specialist, Division of Planning and Development; Farley Augustine, President, Tobago Youth Council; Dr. Nathaniel Duke, Medical Chief of Staff, Tobago Regional Health Authority; Essie Parks, Founding Member, Pink Diamond Society for Ladies Inc.; and Vanessa Boyce, President, Rotaract Club of Tobago.

The young professionals attending the forum raised several issues with regards to opportunities available to young Tobagonians.

These included: financial assistance, contractual arrangements and suitable employment; addressing the needs of professionals with disabilities in the job system; creative learning opportunities, international exposure and mentoring; the level of private sector involvement; entrepreneurship; and the disconnect between policy development and implementation.

Several Secretaries of the Tobago House of Assembly responded to the concerns raised by the young people; and outlined the steps taken in each Division to respond to these concerns.

Among the steps taken by the various Divisions include the hosting a series of symposia with communities and post-secondary institutions to treat holistically with disability and develop a policy framework; forging greater partnerships with national tertiary level institutions for practical training of students; and internship programmes at the e-IDCOT; the body responsible for the Cove Eco Industrial Business Park.

Besides disclosing the $20 million plan, London in response to the issues raised, indicated the Assembly's willingness and eagerness to listen to the young people and help in providing opportunities for the young people of Tobago.

He also indicated that, as follow-up to the Forum, the Assembly will undertake to establish, within the next month, a Young Professional Secretariat, with a view to facilitating employment for young professionals that match their training and skills; and collaborate with the private sector and other institutions, both local and foreign, in establishing an internship programme for young Tobagonians.

He also announced that there will be a recall session in six months to revaluate and discuss what has been achieved so far.

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Commess said on Saturday, Feb 25 at 10:30 PM

Dollar Bill, as I recall the UNC/PP opened a CEPEP office in Tobago that even cause Hochoy to wake up......PNM is not the only culprit so stop playing politics...stupes

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Dollar Bill said on Thursday, Feb 23 at 10:02 PM

De Soup, I guess your venom as usual is spewing Pro PNM. THA is a combination of TOP and PNM, no where is PNM mentioned in a response. It is just fact that PNM took out any possible business interest to come to Tobago, as part of the current regime is anti foreign anything. That includes business investment, foreign investment etc. So where in heck are these 20 million dollar whiz kids going to get a job? Will these programs teach a work ethics class, or how to actually work for a living class? I just feel sorry for this generation as there is nothing for them. It is dreamy that they will get enough skills to get a job outside of the nepotism or cronyism world of THA. The same assembly whoever is in charge has loused up the work ethic of the people. I am not wicked it is just the truth, There are highly intelligent and hard working individuals who are just brilliant. There is no opportunity for them because of the system. Timing is everything.

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Desuperman said on Wednesday, Feb 22 at 11:55 AM

Some of you people are just wicked, you hate the PNM so much that you don't want to see ant form of progress whatsoever. There is nothing that they can do today that isn't labeled as an election gimmick. Any initiative done now is "about election". So when is anything to be implemented, the first year after election? Now the THA is about to introduce a program that will benefit the young people of TOBAGO and it's called a "hand out". Now what else... What did any other regime do to benefit the young people of Trinidad and Tobago? The THA should be commended or complemented for it's initiative, if it's not implemented then that's a different story. It is fact that the young people of today are not motivated to work, but they always want the best things, but that doesn't mean that nothing should not be done to benefit or motivate those who are work-oriented. For people like you, the THA shouldn't do anything for Tobago, two and fours yrs after elected.

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Dollar Bill said on Sunday, Feb 19 at 9:42 AM

It is nice to see the continued government handout of job opportunities. Let us build the youth up,set them up in a job where they just have to show up to get paid and THA has done it's job right before elections. YTEPP,CEPEP, URP, etc these are all the same show up and get your stipend. It is great to give hope but there is no opportunity for them unless it is government sponsored. THA does not want to promote foreign business operations or investment; Trinidad business' do not even want to come because there are no true workers. The work ethic has been ruined by the government show up job system. There are a handful of folks who do work and are very successful because they invested in themselves. Tobago does have talented youth for sure, but without the reality of Western business they will continue to sink. People talk about heritage and keeping it, and so you will keep going in circles walking backwards. I truly want to be positive, but only see the same vote seeking shows.

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