BIT to support emerging co-operative society in Region Five -Minister Hamilton

The Ministry of Labour will soon regularise the Kirby Community Development Co-operative Society of Region Five and provide the requisite training so that members can benefit fully from its services. 

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton

Minister, Hon. Joseph Hamilton made this disclosure during a meeting with members on Friday at the Co-op’s Ross Village, West Coast Berbice location.

The Minister said his primary focus at the moment is to ensure the group is regularised so that it could become a bonafide society.  The group’s executives would also benefit from training to ensure effective management of the co-op.

“One of the failure of co-ops is poor management, not necessarily money and facilities. You [need to] have people who are able to manage properly, who are able to market properly because they might be producing, but they have no skill to market those things. So, those things we will do with all the societies through the country,” Minister Hamilton said.

Further, the Government intends to introduce new targeted programmes through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) this year.  

“At the level of the Board of Industrial Training, we will seek to have training programmes happen for the community and at the level of the Co-op Department,” the Minister said.

Training would be made available in information and communication technology, which would be extended to retirees. 

The Minister said the training would be done “so that we can re-skill people to go back into the world of work because a person at 55, they are still healthy and strong. They might have another five, 10 years to give back to society.”

Additionally, BIT officers would be appointed in every region to ensure training opportunities are decentralised.

“In every region I have an officer there who can relate to the groups and who can shepherd and help the programme. If they [the Co-ops] want to put up a project, [the BIT officer] can sit with them and fashion the project and get all the information,” Minister Hamilton said.

BIT Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Richard Maughn who accompanied the Minister, underscored the need for similar societies to embrace the aid provided by his agency to create jobs.

The CEO said BIT would provide opportunities for personal growth that will reverberate through communities.

“Once you form yourself together, you have the capacity indeed, in developing your community and generating income while you are doing that,” Mr. Maughn said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Perlina Gifth, the Ministry’s Chief Co-operatives Development Officer, reiterated the importance of effective management and accountability.  

The Kirby group was advised to hold its first legal meeting and elect a managerial committee and appoint signatories for a bank account.

Ms. Gifth relayed that once these steps have been taken, and the body registered, the society would be eligible for further financial support through BIT.

Regional Chairman for Region Five, Mr. Vickchand Ramphal and Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Genevieve Blackman also attended the meeting.

Minister Hamilton had met with 12 co-operative societies in Region Five in October to examine ways in which the bodies could be revitalised.

The BIT has also begun training approximately 90 youth from the Region in cosmetology, garment construction and food preparation programmes. That initiative was launched on October 5 last.