George: Tobago Chamber willing to develop young people, curb crime

Tobago Business Chamber president Martin George -
Tobago Business Chamber president Martin George -

CHAIRMAN of the Tobago Business Chamber Martin George says it is willing to work with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to create jobs in an effort to curb crime on the island.

On May 17, THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine held a media conference to address the recent upsurge of murders in Tobago. He said the administration would provide opportunities for young people to find employment within the private sector.

He said, “We will look at the registering of all unemployed persons in communities with the aim of ascertaining their core skills, capabilities, and training option needs. While we are doing that, we are very much aware that the THA cannot employ everyone on the island.”

He added, “Research has shown that the correlation between those who are unemployed and those involved in criminal activity might be smaller than we think. Notwithstanding, we will generate this database, we will provide the training options where the gaps exist and we will help young people get gainfully employed with other agencies within the private sector or also through entrepreneurship to ensure they are productively engaged.”

In response, George told Newsday the chamber was ready to facilitate the development of employment opportunities for the youth.

“We are always ready and willing to work with any administration, because we do not get into the politics of things, so we are always willing to co-operate with whoever is in charge to facilitate the growth of business, the development of the economy and the development of young people.

“I keep saying I have tremendous faith in the talents and abilities of young people, they just need to be given the right opportunities and the right avenues to be able to harness, challenge and channel that talent in a productive way. So we are all in favour of that.”

Speaking on the impact of crime on the island, George said, “Crime is affecting us in the same way it is affecting everyone. But the reality is that because Tobago is a largely tourism-based economy, if people start to get fearful of coming to your island because of the crime situation, the island would experience a downward spiral as far as visitor arrivals.”

“That is why I have always called on the police service to ensure that in all they do, they ought to at least make Tobago a safe place and safe space.”

Though Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association president Alpha Lorde had not seen the press conference, he told Newsday the crime situation would soon negatively affect tourism on the island.

He said the situation required immediate action.

“It is absolutely alarming the crime situation at the moment and it requires immediate redress from the authorities. Not just talk redress; it requires immediate active steps.”


"George: Tobago Chamber willing to develop young people, curb crime"

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