New OJT Head Office opens in Chaguanas: Minister Karim to recommend an increase in OJT Stipend
January 1, 2014: On New Year’s day Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST), officially opened the new On the Job Training (OJT) Programme Headquarters at Pierre Connector Road, Chaguanas.
In attendance were His worship Gopaul Boodhan - the Mayor of the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, Ms. Angela Sinaswee-Gervais - Permanent Secretary of MTEST, Mr. Kelvin Mahabir - Chairman of the National Training Agency (NTA), Mr. Feeroz Khan - Chairman of NESC, Professor Dyer Narinesingh - President of UTT, former chairman of the NTA Professor Brian Copeland, together with specially invited guests from all agencies under the Ministry.
New Home of Jobs:
The Minister thanked all those who contributed to the programmes success which was due to a high level of commitment from all stakeholders involved. Minister Karim said “This is the first time the programme has its very own head office.” He also made the announcement that while this would be the new home for OJT, he also termed it the “Home of Jobs” for Trinidad and Tobago. The new office would provide needed stability for the programme to better serve its stakeholders by being more accessible and able to accommodate the expanding staff aligned to new processes for improved efficiency in operations inclusive of performance monitoring and stipend payment processes. All OJT offices are also expected to become Career Guidance Centres, serving not only the OJT Programme but all the Public Sector Training Providers and Universities as well.
Facility Completed in 3 months:
This facility was built by the National Training Agency, which manages the OJT Programme since its repositioning from the Ministry since 2011. Construction started in September 2013 and was completed in a quick 3 months. The facility will cater for 50 members of staff comprising the OJT Corporate Office as well as the Central Regional Placement Office. This location is ideal as it is strategically next to the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, easily accessible to all members of the public.
The Minister, in declaring the OJT Head office opened, called a meeting of all OJT staff on Friday 3rd January 2014. Minister Karim also took the time to announce that he plans to recommend an increase in stipend payments for the OJT programme in 2014, and also plans to allocate one million dollars to support trainees in academic research and business planning for entrepreneurial activities.