Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy is appealing to Tobagonians to make use of all the opportunities available to them through the government.
Webster-Roy, who also serves as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Gender and Child Affairs, made the call during Tuesday’s Tobago East Stakeholder Engagement Forum at the Scarborough Methodist Primary School in Calder Hall.
She said: “One of the things I want Tobagonians to take note of is that opportunities come up and we don’t make use of them. I am encouraging Tobagonians, when we push for these things for us at the national level, we have to make full use of it.”
She said the Child Affairs Unit has been working with young people to create a cadre of trained caregivers, an initiative she described as important. However, she said when the regulations were introduced to guide children’s home and nurseries, it was recognised that there were not enough people with the requisite skills. A partnership had to be forged with the Nursing Council and a certified nursing programme was developed, enabling young people to be trained before working in community residences.
“Unfortunately, we had made arrangements for Tobagonians to be part of the programme, we would have advertised specifically for Tobago, we would have made arrangements for Tobagonians to receive accommodation in Trinidad – and coming out of that we only had two Tobagonians taking up the call."
Webster-Roy said all provisions were put in place to make it easy for local participants.
"You’re getting a stipend, we provide access to all the different homes and we did an ad specifically for Tobago – and only two Tobagonians would have taken up this course.”