Alternative Livelihood programme cushioning impact of redundancy

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Resilient Communities Alternative Livelihood programme has been successfully engaging redundant sugar workers. This is according to the Manager of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) East Demerara Estates and Coordinator of the programme Curbette Victorine.

“I think we have had tremendous success and response. A lot more than we initially anticipated. Knowing what redundancy was going to bring, we did not get the negative impact as we would normally expect for such a major redundancy,” Victorine said in an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Coordinator of GuySuCo’s Resilient Communities Alternative Livelihood programme, Curbette Victorine.

Additionally, Victorine said there are several groups of former workers who are now better positioned to offer services to the reorganised sugar company.

“What we would have done so far would have allowed for employees to continue or be contracted to GuySuCo. In cases where they were expected to offer services to GuySuCo, we already have that ongoing. Our maintenance of canals programme, we have persons who have shown an interest and have indicated their willingness to work either as operators of excavators and contractors doing manual cleaning. We recently had quite a few of our ex-employees coming together to plant canes on our existing estates and I think there is heightened interest being shown in this programme at this point in time,” Victorine explained.

The Coordinator said several ex-employees have been and are still being trained in-keeping with the company’s re-skilling and upskilling programme, which is one of the components in the alternative livelihood programme.

“It encourages them to become contractors not only with GuySuCo but because of the skill level they would have gained, subsequent to their being made redundant, they could also join the wider, even Caribbean society in terms of offering their skills,” he said.

GuySuCo, this morning convened a stakeholder forum with representatives of several government departments and agencies as it makes move to formally establish among other things, a multi-sectoral committee for the continued implementation of the Resilient Communities Alternative Livelihood programme for areas and persons affected by its re-organisation.

Following the findings of forensic audits commissioned by the government the downsizing of the sugar industry to three estates was among recommendations outlined in a state paper on the future of the sugar industry. The result is that GuySuCo now comprised the following three estates, complete with factories; Blairmont in the West Bank Berbice, Albion-Rose Hall in East Berbice and the Uitvlugt-Wales Estate in West Demerara.

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam

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