Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2013 Contents A12
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 26, 2013
The foundation of the University of
the West Indies law campus in Debe
has been completed and construction
is going on at a rapid pace.
So said Tertiary Education Minister
Fazal Karim as he opened an On-the-
Job (OJT) Training assessment centre
at Bonne Aventure Road, Gasparillo
Karim said he toured the Debe cam-
pus construction site this week and was
pleased at the pace of construction.
"I am happy to report that every
building is off the ground. The foun-
dations of every building of that law
campus is complete and soon we will
start building above ground. We will
open up that law campus by September
2014," Karim said. China Jiangsu Inter-
national, Acuitas Caribbean Ltd and
local contractors are spearheading the
construction of the new campus which
UWI law campus off the ground
Mc Leod: I don't know
if MSJ is alive or dead
will be located on 100 acres of land
and accommodate 4,000 pupils.
A total of $48 million has already
been allocated towards the first
phase of the campus.
Meanwhile, Karim revealed that
two workforce assessment buses
will be visiting rural communities
to certify skilled experienced people
who are without academic qual-
"We are opening up assess-
ments centres throughout the
country but for those who have
not gone to those centres we are
sending two mobile buses out. I
have told my staff to walk the vil-
lages, find the skilled people and
encourage them to get certified
so they can perform to the best
of their abilities," Karim said.
He also called on Works Min-
ister Dr Suruj Rambachan to
encourage contractors to take 5
per cent of their workforce from
the OJT programme.
"Those contractors who agree
will be able to reclaim a 50 per
cent stipend back from the Gov-
ernment when you employ people
out of OJT," Karim said. He said
that OJT sectorial has been align-
ing students with jobs in their
field of study.
"It is important that we reduce
the mismatch of skills as we work
towards building the brains of
this country and unleashing the
human potential," Karim said.
The minister also said he planned
to launch two more OJT pro-
grammes---OJT Legal and OJT
Energy---so that qualified students
can get employment.
Rambachan: Shortage of
However, Works Minister Dr
Suruj Rambachan said sometimes
qualified students are not given
work related to their fields of
study. He said he recommended
a civil engineer to work in a
regional corporation but was told
two weeks later that the OJT was
being used to pump gas for vehi-
cles. Rambachan said students
must begin thinking about getting
careers rather than jobs.
"There must be a shift in atti-
tude and people should start
thinking about long term careers
else they will always be transient
workers," Rambachan said.
He said the National Training
Agency must identify areas of
study which are needed and
advise pupils to choose career
paths to acquire sustainable jobs.
Rambachan revealed that agri-
cultural students were needed to
work at four schools in Gasparillo
and Tabaquite. He added that
there were also a shortage of doc-
tors, nurses, accountants and
Days after being criticised for being
called a founding father of the Move-
ment for Social Justice (MSJ), Labour
Minister Errol Mc Leod launched a
scathing attack on the MSJ saying he
did not know if it was dead or alive.
Mc Leod was speaking as the UNC
celebrated its third anniversary at Mid
Centre Mall, Chaguanas on Friday
Throwing his total support behind
the People s Partnership Government,
Mc Leod said his contributions will
never be forgotten.
"They want me to leave this? I not
leaving this! Mc Leod declared as thou-
sands blew horns and danced.
"It is not for the fun and the cel-
ebration either. It is for the contribution
I can make as we rescue our workers
He also said he should not be con-
sidered as a founding father of the MSJ.
"I have not so described myself and
if any of my colleagues have so
described me, I think they were trying
to honour me, but they made a mistake.
I don t know today what is going on
in that party and if it is alive or if it
is dead. I claim no ownership of it, and
those who are there and would like to
remove my name but they cannot
remove my signature from the Fyzabad
Accord, just as they will not remove
me from my contribution in the labour
movement of T&T and the Caribbean,"
Mc Leod said.
He added that when the PP took
office there were 75 outstanding nego-
"By the end of 2012, last year we
succeeded in settling 49 out of 75 nego-
tiations." Mc Leod also said the Gov-
ernment had succeeded in moving the
minimum wage from $9 per hour to
$12.50 per hour.
He said based on the United Nations
Economic Commission for Latin Amer-
ica and the Caribbean, T&T s unem-
ployment rate was far superior to other
"The report shows that T&T has the
lowest rates of unemployment. In some
places there are 45 per cent unem-
ployment. When we came to office
eight to ten years ago, the unemploy-
ment rate was 6.8 per cent and we
succeeded to bringing it down in the
second quarter of 2012 to 4.2 per cent."
Mc leod also said that trade unions
were freer today than ever before. Under
the PNM, he said, injunctions were
placed on some trade unions.
support to PP
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister
Winston Dookeran reaffirmed his sup-
port for the People s Partnership. He
said she remained a symbol of unity.
Sports minister Anil Roberts also
lauded Persad-Bissessar saying she
played several roles including that of
a mother, grandmother and prime min-
ister. Political leader of the COP, Prakash
Ramadhar also told supporters to stand
strong against the PNM because they
posed grave danger to T&T s sustain-
Sport Minister Anil Roberts, right, makes a point to Labour Minister Errol Mc
Leod, left, and TOP leader Ashworth Jack, during the People's Partnership
third anniversary celebrations at Mid Centre Mall ,Chaguanas on Friday night.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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