The launch and MOU signing was done on October 1, at the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training headquarters, Level 18, Tower C, The International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain.
The launch was part of the Ministry’s plan to restructure the OJT programme, so that trainees would not only find a more purposeful fit, but also meet the requirements of the labour market. “There is no doubt in my mind that we are at the centre, we are the pivot, and also the pinnacle for financial services in the Caribbean, and therefore my cabinet colleagues and I are keen on satisfying the middle and back operations services of financial institutions,” Minister Karim said during his address to participants of the event.
He asserted the need for the OJT programme to focus on different industries to safeguard against the mismatch of skills, and ultimately the misalignment of taxpayers’ investment in education and training, particularly that of the Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses (GATE), which has spent $4.5 billion on 117,519 students since its inception in 2004. “It is more important that, even though we have a high participation rate, we maintain a high graduation rate, and subsequently a high employment rate,” Minister Karim announced.
“Today is a critical day in the history of Trinidad and Tobago – we have never had this type of collaboration before. Do not be surprised if OJT of today soon becomes an employee of our organisations,” the Minister added, “This is all part of creating the welfare and happiness of all our citizens, so that they may access a better quality of life.”