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Jack promises better life for Laventille residents (with CNC3 video)
Scores of Laventille residents flocked to the St Paul Street Sporting Complex in Port-of-Spain as the Government began a massive job recruitment exercise yesterday. And even as some openly criticised Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and National Security Minister Jack Warner, saying they “don’t have time with Kamla and Jack and want nothing from them,” there was still a rush by residents to sign up for employment.
Addressing some 250 residents, Warner said the initiative called People and Projects for Progress would not only create employment, but the skills of residents would be used to help transform their communities, including repainting buildings and building day-care and homework centres.
Saying the T&T Defence Force would be in charge of the recruitment exercise, Warner added: “This is a planned system where we remove the middle men, where we remove the gang leaders, where we have the soldiers working hand in hand with the people to improve their lives.
“This type of system is very different because it is one which involves the people in the communities...It is one which is intended to remove crime, to reduce unemployment and to reduce poverty,” he said. Warner also promised that despite residents having to participate in orientation next Monday and Tuesday, they would still be paid for two days’ work.
“We shall give you the tools and resources to improve your life, we will give you areas where you can begin to play and hold hands,” he said. He added that the initiative was not isolated to Laventille but would be extended to Maloney, Carapo and the Trainline in Marabella.
Warner said the aim of the programme would also enable residents to venture into other parts of Laventille even in areas where there is the fight for turf by gangs. He said police and soldiers would be out in “full force,” and advised residents not to be afraid of the presence of the law enforcement officers, saying they were there for protection.
“The army and the police are here to protect you and to ensure you do an honest day’s work and you are free to work wherever you want...You shall see the police and army as never before,” he said. Councillor for Port-of-Spain South Keisha Armstrong welcomed the initiative, saying it was a positive measure, especially for the youths.
She said while the focus was on people who were “not employable,” she questioned whether those who were skilled would also be given the opportunity to get jobs. “What about the people who have CXC passes and degrees? Some of them are still not afforded a job and that is still a concern,” she said.
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