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Tuesday, May 02, 2006 

TTMA tells Govt:
Tuesday, May 2 2006

People before buildings

THE Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) yesterday called on the Government to produce a developmental policy which “emphasises the development of our people, not just Government office buildings and stadia.”
In a statement to express its solidarity with the labour movement during yesterday’s May Day celebrations, the TTMA said a skilled labour force was critical to national growth and development. To this end, TTMA president Paul Quesnel stated, “When we talk about jobs, we must be talking about sustainable employment, not just band aids.”
Quesnel lamented that there remains too much emphasis on massive construction projects and social sector initiatives such as CEPEP and the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP). He said this continues to draw manpower away from the manufacturing sector and “has created a critical skilled labour shortage in the country which needs to be urgently addressed by the Government.”
Quesnel added that while the TTMA sees hope on the horizon through the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), it strongly urged Government to ensure that existing labour demands in TT are first filled “from the existing regional pool before bringing in labourers from outside the region.”
Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert recently indicated that Government has taken no decision on an offer from the Jamaican government to send skilled construction workers from that country to TT. Imbert said Government believed that such a move should be decided on by Caricom.

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