‘Let younger teens work’
(Trinidad Express) Member of Parliament for Barataria/ San Juan and Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan plans to ask Cabinet to consider reducing the age at which teenagers are allowed to work in this country.
On Thursday, during a media briefing, members of the San Juan Business Association stated their intention to seek Khan’s assistance on what they say is a long-standing, skilled labour shortage in San Juan.
They said some blame for poor work ethics in the area was caused by the Unemployment Relief Programme and the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme.
Speaking with the Express following Monday’s handing-over of 12 new insect vector vehicles at the Vehicle Management Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago compound at Beetham, Khan said: “What I think they are thinking is they need those workers for their businesses themselves and I quite agree with them.
“What I was looking at is in our age group for workers, here is above 16 (years of age). If you look in the United States and different places, the school children work a lot on weekends and on holidays and take the slack up. But in our country, it is not allowed because of the age.
“High school students could gain entrepreneurial ability and worker ability in the area. So I have to discuss that with Cabinet. That would take care of the skills problem.”
Khan said in the United States, high school pupils worked on weekends and public holidays, but the children in Trinidad and Tobago were not exposed to this because the law stated that they cannot be employed under the age of 16. “When they approach me, I will take it to Cabinet and see how we can deal with it,” he said