Youth Minister Assesses Progress on Residential Facilities

Minister of Youth Development and National Service -The Honourable Foster Cummings (R) speaks with (L-R) Technical Advisor to the Minister – Mr. Anthony Garcia, and Director of Youth Affairs Division – Sean Ramrattan at the Site Visits of the YDACs

On Wednesday 24th January, 2024, Minister of Youth Development and National Service, the Honourable Foster Cummings led a team on three site visits to facilities, commonly referred to as Youth Development and Apprenticeship Centres, which will be used to house residential programmes of the MYDNS. Among members of the team were officials of the Ministry, representatives from the Specialised Youth Services Programme (SYSP) and representatives from the National Maintenance Training and Security Company (MTS). The first stop was at El Dorado where the Youth Development and Apprenticeship Centre (YDAC) is currently being renovated and repurposed to house young ladies between the ages of 15 and 25 years old. These young ladies will be enrolled in a two-year programme which will equip them with technical/vocational skills and life skills for a better quality of life and to become valuable contributors to society. This facility is expected to receive its first intake of one hundred and twenty-five young women by September 2024, in accordance with the start of the academic year. A second cohort will be admitted in September 2025 and the facility will be at full capacity with a total of two hundred and fifty young women.

The second visit took place at the Fiver Rivers Secondary School, which has been identified as a facility for Female Children in Need of Supervision (CHINS) which will fill the void of services for female CHINS and aid the Juvenile Justice System in support of restorative practices. This project is still in its planning stages and upon completion will house a total of one hundred and fifty young women between the ages of 10 and 18.

The site visit ended at the Military-Led Academic Training Programme (MiLAT) Facility in Mausica. This facility offers a two-year residential programme which supports young men between the ages of 16 and 20 years, to gain life-skills and achieve academic success. Refurbishment works are now 50% complete and 100% completion is expected in June 2024. The refurbishments include an expansion of the facility and upgrade of a multi-purpose field that will be used for a number of sporting disciplines such as basketball, beach volleyball, rugby and more.

The Ministry of Youth Development and National Service remains committed to bringing all stakeholders together to promote youth development and encourages civic-minded citizens to contribute to national service across Trinidad and Tobago.

Trainees of the Military-Led Academic Training Programme (MiLAT) do a brief march past.

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