Two 40-foot buses outfitted as mobile offices began visiting rural communities yesterday as part of the Ministry of Tertiary Education's Jobs and Career programme.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar launched the initiative at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) on Frederick Street, Port of Spain, on Monday night.
The buses are expected to visit Toco, Mayaro, Charlotteville or Cedros to help the youth and the unemployed gain access to career guidance.
"Our research has shown us that education and training infrastructure are particularly scarce in rural areas and thus the problem of access to training and education is most acute in those areas.These Jobs and Career coaches will provide a change...they will now ensure that nobody in Trinidad and Tobago is left out of developmental opportunities, skills building and accessing the labour market," Persad-Bissessar said.
The proposed schedule was expected to start at the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain, then on to Harris Promenade, San Fernando, then to Arima, Point Fortin, Couva, Princes Town, Penal, Chaguanas, Diego Martin and Sangre Grande.
"Far too often in the past we have focused on an elite group, where opportunities were provided for a limited few and for many of us to benefit from these opportunities we had to travel long miles to gain access. We all know the stories of children and young people having to leave their homes very early in the morning to catch the first bus and reaching home after dark," she said.
"Our Government is shifting that paradigm and bringing the opportunities to all," she added.
Persad-Bissessar said in the past two years the Government has focused on developing programmes and bringing new initiatives, "however next we continue to deliver, deliver, deliver".
Persad-Bissessar described the initiative as "ground-breaking". The buses are fitted with computers, internet access, drop-off boxes for resumes and professionals ready to offer career counselling and advice.
"Individuals who enter the doors of these buses will leave well enhanced, having skills in several areas including resume writing and interviewing techniques," she said.
"I have said on many occasions that for this Government, education and training are the major pillars for our economic development, given that knowledge, information and human capital are the main assets of an advanced nation," she said.
"If you are in Toco, Mayaro, Charlotteville or Cedros these buses are available to you. No community, no village, no one will be left out," Persad-Bissessar said.