Unemployment Relief Programme (URP)

The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP), managed by the Ministry of Works and Transport, provides short-term employment opportunities to people who are unemployed.  It is an initiative designed to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of its participants while assisting communities by providing landscaping and small-scale construction services. Work is assigned on a rotation basis every two to three fortnights. 
URP comprises of three main components:

  • The Core Employment Component-provides short-term employment on a rotation basis to unemployed persons.
  • The Women’s Programme- teaches women marketable skills while providing employment, using an "earn while you learn" approach.
  • 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 payments 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.  Follow the link below for office locations.


Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) Offices

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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 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  This programme caters specifically to women and the working hours are designed to facilitate family or other commitments.

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Am I 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

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How do I apply?

Interested persons are required to register prior to requesting placement.

Applicants must provide:

  • A valid Trinidad and Tobago identification card.
  • National insurance number (if available).
  • Banking information (Banker's name, branch and account number, if available).

For 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.  You can find a list of office locations by following the link below.

Registration forms can be obtained by clicking on the link below or from the regional offices.


URP Temporary Employment Registration Form
Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) Offices

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How long must I wait to be placed?

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 to any projects.


There is generally a two to three fortnight (four to six week) waiting period before placement can occur, but this time varies based on the demand for workers and the number of persons seeking employment.

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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 the days on which cheques can be collected.

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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 to develop their skills so that they can re-enter the workforce within a reasonable period of time.

The programme's Personnel 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 or training for these individuals. These officers also provide guidance, counselling and development support to workers  enrolled in the URP Core Employment Programme. A Personnel Development Officer can be contacted at any of the twelve URP Regional Offices.  Contact information for the regional offices can be found be following the link below.

Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) Offices

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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 such as painting, beautification works, and repair works to damaged community property.  The contractors are paid by the URP and are only available to assist with projects undertaken by community organisations. The URP does not provide contractors to perform work for private citizens or businesses.

To request assistance, interested persons can write, call or visit the URP regional office or Member of Parliament responsible for the constituency where the work is to be performed.  See the links below for contact information. 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.


Representative Members of Parliament


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Additional Information

Additional information regarding the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) can be obtained by contacting the nearest URP regional office (see link below).


Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) Offices

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