Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries Franklin Khan is on the hunt for 50 engineering graduates to fill specialist roles within the ministry.
Rowley made the announcement as he delivered the feature address at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Festschrift Conference at the Hyatt Regency on Monday evening.
Speaking to the crowd of engineering practitioners and revered specialists, Rowley said taxpayers had invested a lot of money in the younger generation, but despite many of them attaining their qualifications they are lost within the system and many are now employed.
“We have a lot of engineers in this country who you (taxpayers) paid for, in a variety of universities, who are left under the floor and left to wither somewhere,” the PM said.
“I have instructed the Minister (of Energy)…using the skills of a former permanent secretary, who’s volunteering, to go look in the system and see where we have abandoned these people. “Some of them with the best training coming from the best universities in the world and wind up abandoned, ignored or frustrated somewhere in Trinidad and Tobago or worse; would have been driven out of Trinidad and Tobago as a result of lack of appreciation.”
He said Khan was instructed to give these new recruits specialist positions so that they may develop the necessary skills to take the country forward.
The PM said he hopes this venture will be able to unearth the country's next Professor Kenneth (Ken) Julien, whom he described as a key player responsible for developing Trinidad and Tobago to where it has reached today.
Julien was also honoured at the event.
Rowley also said he will be attending a two-day meeting of the Caricom Single Market Economy (CSME) at the Hyatt Regency next week. The key conversation at the meeting, he explained, will be allegations by other members that Trinidad and Tobago has an unfair advantage in Caricom which needs to be addressed. He said Caricom counterparts were complaining that T&T manufacturers were getting an unfair advantage because of cheap energy prices they were being afforded here.
“I don't know what would be the outcome of that meeting but Trinidad and Tobago has forced that conversation on the heads of Caricom.”