July 24, 2012:
The Ministry of Local Government will give the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) approximately $50 million to cover costs of almost 200 projects.
Line minister, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan made the announcement at the opening of a pedestrian bridge leading from Ninth Street, Beetham Estate to the Priority Bus Route.
Rambachan said the figure had already been approved by Cabinet and within two weeks the costing of 199 projects between $100,000 and $450,000 had been completed.
He said the contracts had already been tendered and .the public could expect to see contractors at work, throughout the country, "under the URP doing very useful and productive work."
Rambachan said the URP more than just provide unemployment relief, as it has been actively involved in a project called the 'Start-a-House programme' for indigent people.
Rambachan added that under his Ministry, the URP would have greater involvement in infrastructural works in the country. He also said the issue of more sustainable employment under the URP would also be addressed.
"I have asked the National Entrepreneurship Development Company (NEDCO) to develop a training programme for us, which they have developed, and during the months of August/September, we hope to train these people in the basics of how to manage a project,” Rambachan explained.
Once trained, Rambachan said the URP contactors would be expected to then be able to manage their own contracts.
As a result he said his Ministry intends to then award small contracts to deserving trainees. The response, so far, he said has been great, with application from across the country.