Guyana bolsters upskilling programme to help fill projected vacancies

New budget allocates more funding for job training initiatives

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA — With Guyana expected to need hundreds of thousands more workers this year to keep up with the explosive economic growth being driven by its oil and gas sector, the government has put more funding into job training programmes designed to help ensure it has skilled workers in place.

Indeed, Guyanese Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton said the Ali administration is committed to upskilling citizens and residents, and especially ensuring that technical training programmes can keep pace with the growing number of skilled workers.

jobs in Guyana

The government has committed to training nearly 8,000 Guyanese this year.

“This is to ensure that we have the labour force to satisfy the sectors we have,” the minister said.

He further emphasized, “We have to train the totality of all the persons we can train.

“So, those are things that are happening and that speaks specifically with how we deal with all of the sectors.”

Elaborating on the matter, a government statement read, “The government, through the Labour Ministry, continues to create avenues for upskilling and employment countrywide, equipping thousands of Guyanese with new skills and strengthening the country’s workforce.”

Putting its money where its mouth is, the government increased the budget allocation for the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) by some $40 million this fiscal year, with plans to train twice as many people.

It reported that last year, BIT trained around 4,000 people with a budget of $448.5 million.

But this year, it has been given $488.5 million and a mandate to expand training programmes to benefit 7,890 people.

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    Technical training ‘revolution’

    jobs in Guyana

    The minister of labour said there is a "revolution" of technical and vocational training in major world economies at present.

    Minister Hamilton also spoke to the need to continue technical training programmes for jobs in Guyana, describing the expansion as something of a “revolution”.

    “Some may have the skillset but they are not certified and, therefore, that is the role that [the government will] play,” he said.

    In particular, he highlighted “the importance of designing technical and vocational training programmes to meet the demands of the labour market in every industry, as the landscape changes”.

    According to a government statement, Hamilton believes “everything suggests there is a revolution underway, with a focus on technical and vocational education” in first-world countries such as the US, UK and Canada.

    Further, the minister suggested that technical and vocational training helps to “develop a country rapidly”, adding to the reasons why Guyana has increased its efforts in this regard.

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