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NATIONAL YOUTH WEEK ADDRESS 2013 by Opposition Leader,Hon. Sharlene Cartwright Robinson

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Sharlene Cartwright1Yesterday and today we mark the beginning of Youth Week 2013 with Church Services and I commend the organisers for commencing this week long celebration in this manner.

As I reflect on the beginning of this journey. It was in 1995, the Derek Taylor led Administration deemed it important enough to set aside a day to celebrate our youth. From that day to this, much has been accomplished but there is much to do. However I remain grateful that there remains a commitment to ensure that greater focus is placed on our youth during this week.

At the outset, we wish to thank Mrs Angela Musgrove for her work and commitment over the years and we are sad to see her go but we are certain that she will continue in her avid support for positive youth development. We also wish to congratulate her on her recent recognition and Award from the British Empire.

Youth in this country continue to play pivotal roles and they continue to make contributions, be it positive and negative. It is up to us to ensure that their contributions are more positive than negative and we must recommit ourselves to their positive personal development. We often say that youth are the future leaders and I beg to differ to a certain extent because they are leaders today as well. They may take on more senior leadership roles as we move on but there is a need for a shift in thinking and we are called to recognize that they are already leaders in one respect or another and we must equally embrace them as co leaders today.

I pause to encourage and celebrate our youth who have taken on international, regional and national roles: our Youth Ambassadors, our Youth Parliamentarians, various Student Government Councillors and Prefects. These youth already have great leadership roles and need to be celebrated and encouraged. It is now time to reinforce a comprehensive Youth Policy that will aid the leaders of today and prepare the leaders of tomorrow. This Policy must embrace and plan for all the challenges that our youth face: imprisonment, juvenile delinquency, special needs, gang violence and bullying. They have immediate needs such as technical and vocational training, scholarships and funding for further educational pursuits and employment. These are but a few of the challenges that remain constant. As a member once of the National Youth Council, I was a part of drafting the first National Youth Policy and I am happy to hear that the Government has since revisited the need for this Policy and I look forward to seeing the master plan for youth development in these Islands but I caution that whilst we give to the development of our youth, we must demand more of them and we must establish a National Volunteer Service and Cadet Program, both of which I am convinced will help us as a people in shaping the best adult citizens possible.

In 2000 I spearheaded a Private Member’s Motion in the then Legislative Council that saw the establishment of the Culture Desk now Culture Department and assisted the first Director with a Cultural Policy. A part of that Motion was to feature TCI culture strongly in the week leading up to National Youth Day and the week was named Culture Awareness Week, the week now embraced as Youth Week. I wish to encourage us all to ensure that our children remain exposed to true TCI culture and that we make every effort during every opportunity that presents itself to instilling in our youth what truly makes or ought to make us proud to be Turks and Caicos Islanders. For there to be a shift in the attitudes of our youth as we desire, there must be a true sense of a national pride and a strong sense of ownership and belongership. It is important for them to know who we are as a people so as to give them a true sense of identity.

We are all responsible for the leaders among us – current and future and it is my hope that we use this week to reflect on how are we contributing to the development of our country’s future. Youth are bound to be the future leaders and how we mold them today will determine what type of leaders they will be tomorrow because they will lead this country. May we reflect on the decisions that we make that will impact them today and tomorrow and may we realize that we are all accountable to them and for the future we hand to them.

Youth I ask that you require more of yourself, aim high and make wise decisions. Embrace the opportunities that are made available to you and allow God to lead you on the best path for your life.

As Director of Youth for the TCI Baptist Union and President of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship Youth Department, I am blessed with the God given role of working with our youth in this country and around the Caribbean. I remain committed to developing our youth for the betterment of nations around this region and at home. I challenge us all to do more as our youth are achieving more: more academically, in sports and other initiatives and they are equally facing more and more challenges.

It calls for a greater investment of our resources and not just financial but also our time. I am calling on the Government to do its part and I am calling on individual citizens to donate to a worthy cause, to give of your time and talents by joining a civic organization today or by lending your support to those organisations that focus on our children Sunday and Sabbath Schools, Youth Ministries, the Kiwanis Club, Soroptimist, Rotary, Path Finders, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Brownies, Rainbows and other affiliate Clubs.

It is time we invest in our youth as they are the key. I wholehearted embrace and welcome this year’s theme “Invest in me: I’m the key”.

Youth, enjoy your week!

Sharlene L Cartwright Robinson LLB CLE JP

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Airports Authority aims for 24-hour airport and announces Scholarship programme

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – In an attempt to move to 24-hour-a-day operations Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) is steadily recruiting Air Traffic Controllers to work at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International Airport, according to Godfrey Smith, TCIAA CEO, reporting to the Appropriations Committee.

Speaking on April 8th Smith said a cabinet paper would be sent soon requesting six more Air Traffic Controllers to make round the clock operation at the Provo International possible and to open the airport in Grand Turk till 12 a.m.

Currently, 17 posts are filled and seven are vacant.

Smith was candid with his responses to recent industrial action from ATCs which led to resignations and firings.

“What we have to do is find systems to mitigate such actions and that has to start with filling these jobs, putting people in that want to work and doing right by people – and we always try to do right by our staff. Persons may not think that we are but we always do – we ain’t pick no fight,” he said in the meetings held at the NJS Francis building ahead of the National Budget Communication.

Smith indicated that recruitment was an issue across the board, ‘we need to find ways to recruit a little bit better’ he told the committee. Also in need of a push was capital spending or projects according to the CEO, who said the agency had ‘not been very good’ at meeting that mark but insisted they had recognized the issue and could do better.

A very important key performance indicator drawn up by the TCIAA is increasing passenger satisfaction at the Howard Hamilton International Airport. For the TCIAA part of this means a 30 percent increase in seating by Q2 of this year.

When queried on if they could even handle this increase the CEO said,

“The fact of the matter is we already have the capacity there. What we need is to make the service a bit better.”

Staff shortages have become such a frustrating issue that the TCIAA is instituting a scholarship program created by Authority Chairman, Selvyn Hawkins

“What the board wants to do is basically allocate $25,000 annually for a scholarship and they’ve approved it already.”

This process would cover tuition and all other costs for one student.

The student would return as a summer intern and other breaks to work at the TCIAA and upon graduation, assume a role at the company.

“We identify a particular skill we need, we go after it and we build capacity that is in a nutshell the nexus of the program,” Smith said.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) is allocated $49 million this financial year; over $20 million goes to salaries.

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Flow TCI offers Gigabyte Speeds to Customers

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Company delivers fastest speeds nationwide and boosts service reliability

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS, APRIL 19th, 2024 – More connections, faster speeds and greater support for customers. This is the promise from communications and entertainment provider, Flow TCI, as it embarks on an initiative to provide households with enhanced connections, greater overall reliability and now, for the first time, speeds up to one gigabit person second.

FLOW TCI Country Manager, Joanne Missick shared: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We listen to our customers and want to exceed their demands, so we are focused on delivering unmatched value with customer centric products and services that are future proof. Flow subscribers on our Fibre Extreme package can now access up to one gigabyte speeds and subscribers on our Fibre Plus and Fibre Max package, as of April 1st, are also now benefitting from up to 5x more speeds.”

This is third speed boost for Flow customers in the last two years. This comes under the umbrella of the the Company’s recently launched “Working for You” campaign, where technicians are going into the neighborhoods across the island to conduct repairs, decommission copper cables, and increase the brand’s visibility in local communities.

“To date several neighborhoods have been served by technicians and the company will continue to go across the islands to ensure each neighborhood receives personal attention. We recognize that over the past few months some customers have experienced issues with the quality and delivery of our services. This is not what we stand for. Flow remains committed to providing technology and innovation that enables growth and positively impacts lives”, says, newly appointed Head of Technical Operations, Simeon Thomas.

Thomas adds, “We have been closely monitoring and reviewing every aspect of our network and there is room for improvement across each of the islands. Where we find shortcomings, we are taking concrete actions and assigning our technicians to rapidly make all necessary adjustments and improvements for our customers”.

Flow has made significant investments in expanding and modernizing its infrastructure and delivering a more robust and reliable network paving the way for the country’s digital transformation.

For more information on speed increases visit https://www2.discoverflow.co/turks-and-caicos/price-adjustment-speed-increase on our website.

Thank you for your usual assistance in sharing our stories.

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Government

Harold Charles, Appointed Member to the HOA, goes out with a Bang 

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – In an explosive, self-proclaimed, final budget speech to the people of the Turks and Caicos, Harold Charles, Governors Appointed Member is expressing frustration that many Turks and Caicos Islanders are locked out of top jobs in the country and unable to build wealth.

”I’ve been in this country for 50 years and I’ve noticed all those big developments that come in— the majority of [managers]are foreign people. After 50 years, when are we going to have Belongers manage those businesses?” Charles asked.  “I’m upset, I’m frustrated [this is] their home.  They have nowhere else to go—- If we don’t empower our Turks and Caicos Islanders we will never get out of living paycheck to paycheck.”

Charles echoed what thousands of locals have been saying for years about the failure of successive governments to get the economic success in the country on a level that residents can participate in it.  The member maintained that not only were many locals working for scraps overseas and at home, but that it was the prerogative of the government to create avenues for them to move upward.

”I know the government’s heart is in the right place but somehow we’re not getting it together.  I’m talking (about) both PDM and PNPs. It must change.  There are many islanders overseas taking crummy jobs when all this opportunity is in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Calling on the government to enforce laws which allow islanders to get a foothold in lucrative industries, Charles maintained that TCIG could not let investors come and do as they liked.

”We have all these big companies making millions.  They brag about how much they’re making, yet how much do they contribute to the development of our people?”

Charles encouraged the government to mandate that locals were hired in the large developments, taking place across the country.

Capital projects and their execution was another issue that the member highlighted

”Over the past three years in office, we seem to be dragging our feet when it comes to the execution of projects,” he said, “the last budget reflected bitter-sweet sentiment.”

The government managed to spend $29 million of a $57 million capital project budget in 2023/24 financial year.

“Mr. Speaker prior, we promised the people infrastructural investment, improved roads, ease with doing business with TCIG, more scholarships, increased home care, a $900,000 special needs school.”

The Appointed member was also frustrated with the amount of money being allocated to crucial areas including the absence of allocations for a special needs school.

”We were promised that no Turks and Caicos Islander would be left behind while I appreciate the government’s commitment to ensuring this. I am concerned that the relatively low level of funding allocated to education and infrastructure may hinder the effectiveness of effort,” The member stressed.

Closing his speech, Charles maintained that it was “crucial that the sectors receive additional support in order to provide citizens with the necessary resources and opportunities for their development.“

Mr. Speaker it is imperative that we allocate our resources adequately and streamline processes to enhance the ease of doing business with the Turks and Caicos Government. We must priortise increasing service delivery capacity in critical departments such as the customer service department, the register of records, the department of motor vehicles and the list goes on,” express Charles.

Charles reminded that there is a growing demand on the services TCIG provides, especially as the country enjoys unprecedented, year on year, exponential economic growth.

Charles alongside Jameka Williams (Government Appointed Member) Willin Belliard (Governor’s Appointed Member number one) and Alvin Garland (Opposition Appointed Member) will very likely be the last set of appointed members in the House of Assembly of the Turks and Caicos as it transitions to a wholly elected parliament.

Harold Charles indicated it was unlikely he would join any leadership race describing the 2024-2025 Budget contribution as likely his final.

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