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Ministry of Works & Transport

Unemployment Relief Programme

Unemployment Relief Programme Printable Version


The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) provides short term employment to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.  The programme is also designed to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of individuals andcommunity groups and to assist in the delivery of small-scale projects in various communities.  

  1. The Women’s Programme teaches women marketable skills while providing employment, using an “earn while you learn” approach.
  2. The Special Projects Delivery component awards contracts for work in the community to small scale contractors.

Core Employment Component
The principal function of the URP is to provide short-term employment for unemployed persons in the community.  The unemployed are provided with work on a rotation basis, every two to three fortnights (four to six weeks). Persons employed through the URP are not entitled to any employment benefits or vacation leave.  A stipend is paid to individuals to assist them financially, however the payment should not be considered a salary.
Steps are being taken to ensure that persons employed under the URP receive on-the-job training to standards set by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards – the same level as all other government employees.
Applicants are not required to pay any application fees or provide any other consideration to any individual to be awarded work under the employment programme.
Community groups such as churches and schools undertaking small projects can apply for assistance through the Core Employment component of the programme. To request assistance, interested persons can write, call or visit the URP Regional Office responsible for the area or region where the work is to be performed.

Special Projects Delivery

The URP’s Special Projects Delivery component provides community groups such as churches and schools with assistance for small, medium, and large scale projects that take more than six weeks to be completed.  Special projects are awarded to contractors within the constituency who will provide both the labour and materials for the project.  Contractors are recruited for a variety of projects, beautification works and repair works to damaged community property.  The contractors are paid by the URJP and are only available to assist with project undertaken by community organisation.  The URP does not provide contractors to perform work for private citizens or businesses.

To request assistance, interested persons must write, call or visit the URP regional office or Member of Parliament responsible for the constituency where the work is to be performed.  All requests for assistance for special projects are submitted for consideration of the Member of Parliament representing the constituency concerned.

Contractors who are interested in participating in the Special Projects Delivery Component of the URP should register with the URP Regional Office responsible for the constituency where the contractor is based.  Registered contractors can apply for projects within the region when they are advertised by the URP.  All contractors expressing interest in a project will receive a tender package and will accompany representatives from the URP on a site visit to assess the work to be conducted.  Contractors may then submit a proposal which will be evaluated by the Ministerial Tenders Committee, who will select the most suitable contractor for the project. 

Additional information on the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) can be obtained by contacting the nearest Unemployment Relief Programme regional office.

Women’s Programme

The Women’s Programme provides training for women while they are employed in areas such as crafts, furnishings, cleaning, painting, community work, geriatric care and beautification of surroundings.  Training courses last for six weeks with working hours of 9.00am to 2.00pm.  The programme caters specifically to women and the working hours are designed to facilitate other commitments.

Who is eligible?
Persons applying for placement through the URP Employment and Women’s Programme must:

  • Be 18 years or older at the date of registration
  • Be unemployed
  • Possess a valid Trinidad and Tobago identification card

How do I apply? 

Interested persons are required to register prior to requesting a placement. Applicants must provide:

  • A valid Trinidad and Tobago identification card
  • National Insurance number
  • Banking information (bank name, branch and account number).

Applicants seeking employment, a registration form should be completed and delivered in person to the URP regional office responsible for the area or region within which the applicant lives.  For women applying for the Women’s Programme, completed registration forms should be submitted in person to the nearest URP Women’s Programme office. 

How long is the waiting period for placement?

As projects become available, each regional office selects employees from the list of applicants registered in the region’s database.  The coordinator responsible for the labour force will notify the applicant when they have been selected for placement.  Applicants can also check the employment schedule posted at the regional office to see if they have been assigned any projects.

How do I get paid?
Cheques are prepared for each work crew and are disbursed by pay masters at the URP regional office, one fortnight after the work period is completed.  Cheques are to be collected from the regional office on the assigned pay days.  Please contact your regional office for information regarding pay days on which cheques can be collected.

How long can I stay on the employment programme? 

There is no limit to the length of time an individual can remain on the programme but the programme is designed to assist workers by providing temporary employment and helping got develop their skills so that they can re-enter the workforce within a reasonable time period.
The program's Personal Development Officers assist with placement by assessing the skills and training of persons enrolled in the programme and attempting to find suitable long term employment of training for these individuals.  These officers also provide guidance, counselling and development support to workers enrolled in the URP Core Employment Programme.  A personal development officer can be contacted at any of the URP regional offices. 

Contact URP:
Main Office
Autorama Building
Cor. Williams and El Socorro Main Road,
San Juan
Tel/Fax: 638-5205

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