Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Chamber fights crime with JumpStart
Sixteen years after the Nova Committee of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce introduced its JumpStart business incubator programme for school leavers, the initiative has become more relevant than ever in the battle against crime, according to the Chamber’s CEO Catherine Kumar.
“You represent our new upcoming generation of young people. You are the leaders of tomorrow and so I counsel you don’t expect life to be easy and don’t be quick to give up. I urge you to continue to be an example of positive change in our country and not to the lured into gang/criminal activity.
“While that may seem like an easy avenue, I urge you to choose to always be productive law-abiding members of society so that you can be proud of the contribution you have made towards the development of your country,” she said. Kumar urged young people to take a closer look at the decisions they make in the face of adversity. She told them the power they had was in actions which could shape their future positively.
Speaking at the programme’s graduation ceremony at the Leon Agostini Hall at the Chamber’s headquarters in Westmoorings, before an audience that included Carl Francis, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Bernard Campbell, vice-chairman of the Nova Committee and Rudd Gonzales, managing director of Cuts “R” Us, Kumar urged the young people to let every hurdle in life serve as a form of empowerment, regardless of how difficult things might seem.
She said the youth development initiative conceptualised more than a decade-and-a-half ago, continues to provide participants with career guidance, discipline, financial management and life skills enhancement. It could not have been made possible, she said, had stakeholders not struck a deal for a common national good. Kumar said: “The Chamber intends to continue to play its role in promoting youth development through the JumpStart programme.
“We believe that encouraging entrepreneurship and employment among young people is one sure way to empower them and to secure the future growth of our nation. “Youth entrepreneurship and employment supports our individuals, social and national development and has become a solution in alleviating the vicious cycle of poverty and social exclusion.” Kumar said the issue of poverty and social exclusion has always been the Chamber’s focus.
“This has become predominant locally as well as internationally. Even in the developed world and even more so after the global economic crisis, we have seen the problems young people have in finding job security. “The job market has drastically changed since my generation. You, the youth of today will find that you will have to be more qualified, more competent and more efficient to thrive or even survive in our modern day society,” she said.
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