LABOUR Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus and Chaguanas East MP Fazal Karim each accused each other of neglecting the On The Job (OJT) job placement scheme for youngsters. The Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives on Friday examined the accounts of the Labour Ministry, among other heads.
Karim alleged that for the past four years the ministry has had an account with $145 million, which it had failed to spend to help youngsters get job placements.
Baptiste-Primus retorted that when she took office she had found 200 OJT trainees idling in TT Post with nothing to do. “They were just twiddling their thumbs,” she alleged.
Karim said that was a false claim, storming, “You are misleading the House.” He accused the minister of making her remark so as to deflect from an alleged inability to properly answer his query on the unspent $145 million.
Earlier Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh had asked about a $41 million hike in the OJT recurrent allocation, up from $242 million last year to $284 million. Baptiste-Primus said the programme now caters for 5,000 people but is aiming to increase this to 8,000 people.