Young job seekers often find it challenging to get into the job market.
But THA Assemblyman Marisha Osmond believes two new youth development training programmes being introduced in Tobago by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs will help support the employment ambitions of young adults.
They are the Life skills, Employability, Entrepreneurship, Activism and Patriotism (LEEAP), and Global Coalition for Youth Employment (GCYE) programmes.
Osmond is the area representative of Plymouth/Golden Lane, where the programmes are initially being rolled out.
The programmes will target youth ages 16-29. They’ll gain experience in money management, career mapping, customer service, sexual health, workplace etiquette and networking for business and other areas.
Osmond said the programmes will provide a great opportunity for youth in her district.
“They lament that they are unfortunately facing huge barriers to entering the labour market,” she said. “For example, potential employers often expect them to have previous work experience, even for entry level positions, so in many cases they are denied jobs because they have no work experience, and yet they can’t get work experience because they aren’t being offered jobs.”
During the launch, Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe—the MP for Tobago West—also urged parents to encourage their children to consider entrepreneurship as viable employment.
“We need to keep telling these young people that they can do what they want to do and be who they want to be,” Cudjoe stressed.
“In this day of GATE (Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses), of BDU (Business Development Unit) loans, of [the] Venture Capital [Equity Fund], you can do and be anything and you are not confined or limited to Tobago.”