254 persons graduate from Early Childhood Development, Cosmetology, other BIT programmes in Region Four

The Board of Industrial Training (BIT) continues to successfully train and equip Guyanese with the requisite technical and vocational skills to strengthen Guyana’s workforce. 

On Wednesday, 254 persons from various communities in Region Four were certified after successfully completing training courses in Early Childhood Development, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing and Repairs, Cosmetology, Electrical Installation, Barbering, Heavy-duty Equipment Operation, and Commercial Food Preparation. 

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, staff of the ministry, and graduates of the Early Childhood Development programme

The graduation was held at the National Cultural Centre. 

Several graduates expressed gratitude to government for providing free training courses to enhance their skills. 

Candacie Prescott receiving her certificate from Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton

Candacie Prescott, who graduated from the air conditioning and refrigeration servicing and repairs course was the only female in her class. She related that she enjoyed the course although it was a bit challenging.

“I don’t have to pay anyone. I can do it for myself. I was the only female. I choose to do it so I can do my own refrigeration at home. When it goes bad, I can bunk my AC up in my house,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer (ag), Saskia Eastman-Onwuzirike handing over a certificate to a graduate

Eighteen-year-old graduate of the Heavy-duty Equipment Operation course, Martina Baptiste, who hails from Soesdyke noted that her sister submitted the application for her to complete a course while she was awaiting her CSEC results.

“I didn’t know that she applied. She was like go and do it, you just finished school. Occupy your time. I don’t know why she chose it but I like it now,” she relayed.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, staff of the ministry, and graduates of the Barbering programme

Baptiste added that it was the encouragement of the males that helped her to complete the programme.

Graduate of the cosmetology programme, Sheneka Neil explained that, “The course was good. I enjoyed every moment of attending the course. My step is to get my own business and to extend it and to make ladies look more beautiful,” she said.

Twenty-seven-year-old mother of two, Kavita Ramitt who is now a certified cosmetologist noted that she intends to open her own salon to teach others.

Some of the graduates

Early childhood development graduate, Shanel Watson expressed how happy she is to complete her programme although she encountered some challenges balancing work and studies.

Watson said, “I must say that it’s a life lesson. It was a good impact and I will continue to do the good work of it. I’ve experienced a lot.”

Another graduate of the air conditioning and refrigeration servicing and repairs programme, Shemar Arthur noted that, “mainly because I always try to be technical. I like to do things with my hands mostly like fixing things.”

Graduate, Shemar Arthur receiving his certificate from Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton

Arthur intends to pursue a job in the field.

Meanwhile, during his charge to the graduates, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton reaffirmed government’s commitment to ensuring these necessary training opportunities are provided to Guyanese to enhance their skills which will make them employable in today’s society. 

“What is more important than the certificate, is the knowledge you have gained. Your knowledge will sustain you. You have to answer the question, the skill that I have acquired, what will I do with it to ensure I can sustain myself? Your trainer can’t answer that for you. They have made you employable. You now have to put yourself in a position to be employed, self-employed or otherwise employed,” Minister Hamilton told the graduates.

They were also to continue upskilling themselves by taking advantage of the many opportunities that BIT has to offer. BIT’s Chief Executive Officer (ag), Saskia Eastman-Onwuzirike, Director and Board Member, Penelope Harris, Senior Technical Officer, Leon Greaves, Human Resource Officer, Melinda Kelly, and other officers also attended the graduation.