It is indeed a pleasure to bring remarks at the Handover Ceremony of
Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Training Certificates from the
National Shoe and Occupational Solutions Limited (NATCO), to
members of the Military-led Academic Training (MiLAT) Executive
Fondly referred to as the “Leadership Expert in Safety Solutions”, the
National Shoe and Occupational Solutions Limited (NATCO), for over sixty (60) years, has supplied safety and uniform workwear and
workwear to men and women, both locally and regionally. Your suite
of services also comprises Personal Protection Equipment provision,
hospitality, security and H.S.E. consultancy services. Your customers
benefit from complimentary H.S.E. training, a service which they have
now extended to Government-funded, youth-serving agencies
gratuitously, over the years.
Today’s ceremonial handover, is the pinnacle of a six (6) month,
intense, in-depth and methodical Health, Safety and Environment
(HSE) Training Programme.
From all accounts received, today’s certification handover, is a well deserved endorsement of the one hundred and twenty-four (124)
MiLAT Facilitators, Lecturers and Administrative Staff who, amid the
pandemic, remained committed to successfully completing the task at
This type of alliance between corporate Trinidad and Tobago and the
Government is commendable, to say the least.
My friends, the idea of National Service comes in various forms. The
predisposition of “each-one-help-one” to grow and develop, is not new,
and I am not referring to the latest wave of sou-sou and pyramid
schemes taking over the country.
We, are culturally socialized to not leave anyone behind, to assist each
other in our various facets of life- whether out of duty of personal
willingness. The difference now, is that we have a Ministry solely and
wholly dedicated to the promotion of National Service and of course,
the advancement of the Youth Developmental Agenda.
The establishment of such a Ministry, specifically encourages
individuals, youth-led organizations and corporate Trinidad and Tobago to adapt to and inculcate a spirit of civic-mindedness and national pride in their day-to-day operations and to stimulate their corporate social responsibility.
The idea of, and commitment to National Service has been made clear
by NATCO. Over the years they have conducted numerous H.S.E.
training programmes for young people at the Golden Grove Youth
Training Centre. As I look out into the audience and see Major
Benjamin of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, I am reminded
that NATCO has also embarked on a parallel arrangement with the
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), where they also hope to facilitate
training of their lecturers and administrative staff.
What NATCO has and continues to do through these partnerships with associations, is directly and indirectly pour into and invest in our
nation’s youth. By honouring their commitment to providing free
introductory training programmes to Government-funded Youth
Agencies and programmes, they advance the knowledge of the lecturers and facilitators tasked with the inimitable responsibility of positively influencing thousands of young people, who participate in vocational programmes like YTC, MiLAT, CCC and many others.
Ultimately, by revitalising their corporate social responsibility, they act
as vehicles of development in expanding our nation’s economy.
Today, I stand before you proud to be the Minister that represents over four hundred thousand (400,000) young people of Trinidad and Tobago, knowing well, that the information gleaned from the HSE training, would be transcended to the young, beautiful minds of the youth.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
and the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service, I extend my humblest gratitude to your General Manager, Mr. Michael Grant and his team for choosing our youth, for choosing servitude over selflessness, and for doing so safely.
It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge and give homage the
Executive Team at the MiLAT Academy for taking up this charge to
further increase the offerings to its present and future enrolees. MiLAT continues to be one of the most sought after and most revered vocational training programmes for young men, aged sixteen to twenty.
I have heard so many success stories of past trainees, their positive experiences and mentorship offered by the MiLAT team.
This fiscal year alone, they have achieved a graduation rate of over sixty per cent (60%), with those graduates attaining a full CSEC certificate and all trainees attaining a minimum of two (2) CSEC passes. I must add, that this was done all while circumnavigating through global fallout from the COVID-9 pandemic. That my friends is what we, at the MYDNS, call commitment to excellence!
I often hear young people say that “Trinidad is not a real place” but I
am here today, to debunk that theory my friends. Trinidad and Tobago
is indeed a real place, with real young people, seeking a greater
Before I take my leave, allow me to acknowledge International
Volunteer Day (IVD), celebrated tomorrow, December 05, 2020. This
year’s Theme is “Together We Can Through Volunteering”, and
according to United Nations Volunteers, it “is an opportunity for us all
to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels”.
International Volunteer Day, also solidifies and is synonymous to the
Ministry’s thrust to promote youth development, and encourage civicminded citizens to contribute to national service across Trinidad and Tobago.
As the Minister of Youth and National Service, I encourage each of you here to seek volunteer opportunities in and around communities and to encourage young people in your guardianship to do the same.
My presence here today is also a clarion call for greater investment and
interaction from corporate Trinidad and Tobago with our youth. Let us work together to achieve a sustainable future for our future leaders.
Thank you for having me and congratulations to the MiLAT-NATCO
team for another successful undertaking.
Thank you and May God bless each of you and your households!