AmCham T&T is proud of its hallmark Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) youth programme, the National Youth Productivity Forum (NYPF), which was conceived in 2009 as a response to the declining work ethic and low productivity which had become evident in Trinidad and Tobago. We strongly believe that the most effective way to reverse such decline and to create a sustainable, productive and knowledge-based work force is to start with the youth of the nation- our most important resource.
The NYPF provides opportunities and guidance to secondary school level students, with particular emphasis on Forms 1V through VI, to identify and understand issues (national and international) which are germane to the country’s progress and development. In this connection, AmCham T&T, in a collaborative partnership with the University of Trinidad and Tobago, has incorporated elements of training in the art of critical and creative thinking, research and presentation skills which ensure that not only are they better equipped to deliver cogent and relevant arguments on the specific topic under discussion but also to acquire life skills which are essential for meaningful participation in the structure and governance of all facets of a functioning society. The model involves, inter alia, students participating in a multi-partied approach in dealing with issues- representing the perspectives of government, labour, civil society and business. This methodology speaks to all sectors working collaboratively to solve problems in order to move Trinidad and Tobago forward.
This initiative created traction from its initial iteration in 2009 when it received international recognition by winning the coveted “Most Creative AmCham Program” award among the 23 member countries which comprise the Association of American Chambers of Commerce of the Caribbean and Latin America (AACCLA). The judges expressed the view that the project’s vision and ingenuity were highly commendable. AmCham T&T, students, school officials and other stakeholders are convinced that if given the necessary support and recognition it deserves locally, over the medium to long term, this youth forum will make a positive impact on the nation’s work ethic and the country’s global competitiveness. It is instructive to note that the Honourable Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, has publicly endorsed and pledged his Ministry’s support of the program. He has congratulated AmCham T&T for its forward thinking initiative and has granted approval for the conduct of the Forum over the next three years, thereby obviating the delays and uncertainties inherent in the need for annual approvals. We at AmCham T&T will continue to invest in our young people in order to transform Trinidad and Tobago and invite all patriots of our beloved country to join us on this journey of true sustainable development.
Hugh L Howard