Land Settlement Agency Construction Training Seminar for Small and Medium Contractors
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, MP
Minister of Housing and Urban Development
Daaga Hall, University of the West Indies (UWI)
St. Augustine Campus, St. Augustine
Saturday, November 26, 2022 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- The Honourable Adrian Leonce, Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Member of Parliament for Laventille East/Morvant
- Ms. Nirmala Ramlogan, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Mr. Wayne Inniss, Chairman of the Land Settlement Agency, and other members of the Board of Directors of the Land Settlement Agency
- Mr. Hazar Hosein, CEO of the Land Settlement Agency, and other members of management of the Land Settlement Agency
- Heads of Division and staff of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
- Mr. Mikey Joseph. Managing Director, Structural & Mechanical Agencies
- Mr. Kriyam Singh, Civil Engineer, and Trinidad and Tobago Contractors Association (TTCA) Director
- Mr. Augustin Rodriguez, Civil Engineer/Consultant
- Beneficiary Contractors of this Training Seminar
- Members of the media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
It is always a great pleasure to be with my Land Settlement Agency (LSA) family. This morning, we are extra happy because we have with us small and medium contractors (SMCs), who have taken up this great offer to get free training that would, ultimately, help you – the very attendees – to catapult your quality and profitability, not just with the Land Settlement Agency (LSA), but on any job, public or private!
Your Government is doing this for you because we see this as an investment in you. This is one of many strategic actions that we are taking in fulfillment of Goal 2. of Theme IV of Vision 2030: to strengthen entrepreneurship development systems. No Government has taken as much care of the small and medium Enterprise (SME) sector as this one. You see it in energy where local content is increasing, according to the just-released Sustainability Report of the National Gas Company. You see it in finance where the National Budget takes small and medium Enterprises into special consideration. You see it in the largest of the agencies of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development – the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) – where small and medium contractors have developments set aside specially for them. You see it in every aspect of planning and development that this government has the back of small and medium enterprises in this country! We have your backs!
With this training, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is also putting people first, nurturing our greatest asset, as articulated in Theme I of the Vision. We recognised that among the most significant needs of the poor and vulnerable is decent shelter. That is why, through this training, we are collaborating with the private sector – the Trinidad and Tobago Contractors Association – to meet the current housing demand for low- and middle-income groups. As we said in the Vision, and as the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has emphasised, the private sector will eventually champion this endeavour, and that will further contribute to the medium- and long-term goals of reducing poverty.
The preparedness of and medium contractors (SMCs) is therefore critical to the success of the programmes of our Land Settlement Agency, specifically to its Regularisation of Squatter Communities Programme, its Housing and Village Improvement Programme (HVIP), and the San Fernando Waterfront Redevelopment Programme, also known as the Bayshore Housing Project.
At present the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) is building Six Hundred and Sixty (660) Starter Home Units across Trinidad. These units are engineered structures made of reinforced masonry walls, metal roofs, and a suspended floor slab and are constructed by mainly small and medium contractors (SMCs). Further, the programme includes infrastructure improvement projects in villages throughout Trinidad. These works too are carried out mainly by small and medium contractors (SMCs).
Therefore, by increasing and strengthening the technical capacity of the small and medium contractors (SMCs), the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) will improve the quality of service delivery on its various programmes. Today we catered for 200 participants, and nobody better be missing, because the topics to be covered under this training are some of the best. Some would say they form the backbone of technical skills training:
- Concrete and Masonry Works
- Structural Steel Works (Roofing); and
- Cost Control and Construction Management.
When I look around the room, when I see the participants here, my confidence overflows because I know you have what it takes to help the LSA achieve its goal, to improve upon the quality and acceleration of the LSA programmes, and to create new employment opportunities within the communities where you operate.
Of course, the biggest beneficiaries today will be you, the small and medium contractors (SMCs). You will learn the best practices that work here in Trinidad and Tobago, in our climate, in our terrain, on flat and undulating lands. That will improve the delivery of your construction services, as I said earlier, not just on projects with the Land Settlement Agency but on all your projects, and you know the impact that will have on your bottom line!
As such, I am profoundly optimistic about the future of sustainable urban development and affordable housing in Trinidad and Tobago. I know your best and most profitable days are still in front of you. Together, let us get the job done, keep making the right choices, and help make Trinidad and Tobago the greatest country on earth.
Congratulations on being among the first to receive this training.
Thank you, may your team score a goal this World Cup, and may God continue to bless you all.