BPTT strengthens youths through LEEAP

Wednesday, March 26, 2019

Energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago (BPTT) has expanded its partnership with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) in the area of youth empowerment with critical assistance in the staging of workshops at four locations in Trinidad which aim to develop values of employability, entrepreneurship and patriotism.

The workshops, themed LEEAP (Life Skills, Employability, Entrepreneurship, Activism and Patriotism), which started on February 9 and ends on April 13, cater to young people from 16 to 29. They are being conducted at four venues: St. James Youth Facility, Eastern Regional Indoor Sporting Arena, Larry Gomes Sporting Arena and the Southern Indoor Regional Sporting Facility.

“I think the major benefits to come out of this project will be centred on preparing me for adult life, building self-confidence and self-esteem, learning about etiquette and how to be a gentleman, as well as getting insights into the world of work and the principles of starting your own business,” said Yohsan Whitehead, 19, a student of Diamond Vale, Diego Martin.

Whitehead, who attends the workshop at the St. James Youth Facility, explained that his mother encouraged him to register since she felt it would be beneficial to him. “She was right. The sessions have been very interesting and eye-opening. Our facilitators have been very inter-active and we are really learning how to be better individuals, and eventually, worthwhile and productive citizens as we grow into adulthood,” Whitehead pointed out.

BPTT’s support of the initiative was underscored by Joel Primus, Advisor, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations. “Our wholehearted support of the LEEAP initiative is an extension of our partnership with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, continuing from the successful Life Skills Youth Development Workshops held last year. Our work with the Ministry is just part of our overall investment in our youth in different spheres and levels throughout the national landscape. The life skills they inculcate at these sessions will serve them in good stead in their adult life, enabling them to be employable and even setting up their own businesses in some instances,” said Primus.

BPTT has invested some $65 million in education and skill development programmes on a national scale over the past five years.

Annalicia Barrath, Youth Placement Officer, MSYA, welcomed the intervention by BPTT, noting that partnerships with corporate entities were essential in establishing programmes such as LEEAP. “In 2018, the Ministry forged a successful collaboration with BPTT with the Life Skills initiative and we are very pleased that they are on board again for LEEAP this year. We are also heartened at the response from the youths in this region which covers communities in the north-western peninsula such as Diego Martin, Carenage, Chaguaramas, Maraval and St. James,” said Barratt.

She noted: “One of our primary objectives is that the young people who are participating in this programme will acquire the necessary tools and skills to enable them to face the world of work with confidence. In addition, we hope to instill the value of patriotism so they eventually become assets to the country as citizens we all can be proud of.”

“I think the major benefits to come out of this project will be centred on preparing me for adult life, building self-confidence and self-esteem, learning about etiquette and how to be a gentleman."