Government of Trinidad and

Response to statements by Mr. Fazal Karim, Chaguanas East M.P.

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago - Tuesday 08 January 2019

The Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development wishes to clarify the process of the On the Job Training Programme Trainee Placement in light of statements made by Mr. Fazal Karim, Chaguanas East M.P., during the opening of a sub-office along Railway Road, Cunupia in your online newspaper article dated Saturday, January 5, 2019 titled “Fazal to constituents: Let me be your voice”.

In this article, the Member of Parliament (M.P.) is inviting unemployed young persons within the ages of eighteen (18) to thirty-five (35) to come to the newly opened sub-office of the Constituency, to register, alluding that as M.P., he would take their names to the On the Job Training (OJT) Programme to have them employed.

The Ministry wishes to clarify that its OJT Programme Division offers nationals aged sixteen (16) to thirty-five (35) an opportunity to engage in work-based training through a twenty-four (24) month Internship at a Private or Public Sector Institution. The process for Trainee Placement entails the submission of an application and requisite documents to the OJT Programme after which applicants are interviewed. Subsequent to being interviewed, Applicants are matched with a suitable organisation and offered placement via a first-in, first-out process.

Nationals are advised to note carefully that the OJT Programme’s standard application process is the only means by which applicants are placed for training and as such, the statement made by Mr. Fazal Karim reported by the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian is misleading. A Member of Parliament cannot provide his or her constituents with an advantage in placement by the submission of names to the OJT Programme. Every person must apply personally and be so interviewed. There can be no third party registration for another person whether M.P. or otherwise.

The Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, therefore, wishes to reinforce that all eligible persons who wish to apply to the On-the-Job Training Programme should follow the aforementioned application process. Interested persons are invited to visit the Ministry’s website ( for full information on application requirements, the placement process and office locations at which applications can be submitted.

Yours in Service,

Senator the Honourable Jennifer Baptiste Primus
Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development