File: Graduates of the Military-Led Academic Training Programme Graduation Parade at Teteron Barracks Chaguaramas in 2017.

Minister of Youth Development and National Service, Fitzgerald Hinds has given the assurance to the 22 cadets from the MYPART programme, that they need not fear about the completion of the programme.

Hinds has also advised that the Military-Led Youth Programme of Apprenticeship and Reorientation Training (MYPART), a three-year residential programme, was suspended like many other face-to-face initiatives and programmes, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The Programme, therefore, has not been dismantled. In fact, the $7.2 Million allocation, is testimony of the Government’s intention to continue the Programme.

“The MYPART programme was transferred from the Ministry of Education – National Energy Skills Centre (NESC), to the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service in August 2020, with employees whose contracts were due to expire on September 30, 2020,” Hinds said.

“The expiration of a contract is not in any way a termination but is in accordance with the agreement between both parties. No verbal or other assurances were given that contracts would be renewed, particularly in light of the pandemic,” he added.

Guardian Media reported that 17 members of staff from the MYPART programme were given termination letters but Hinds, in addressing the issue said that his ministry has been in contact with the programme managers to determine a way forward for the completion of the current cohort, “given the protocols and stipulations outlined by the Ministry of Health for gathering of persons in confined spaces. In which case, the Cadets need not fear about the completion of their Programme.”

“The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service remains ready and willing to support the effective and efficient operations of programmes such as MYPART which serve the needs of our nation’s youth while contributing to the development of Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.