Close to $139M to complete training centres, certify persons through BIT – Min Hamilton

The Labour Ministry through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) will continue in its efforts to build a skilled workforce across the country by expending close to $139 million to construct and rehabilitate several training centres.

The ministry plans on constructing an office and training centres at New Amsterdam and Corriverton.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton

The plot of land at New Amsterdam was provided by the Town Council. This training centre will be constructed to the tune of some $39.9 million.

Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton while responding to questions posed by the Opposition during the budget estimates on Tuesday said the land at Corriverton was gifted to the ministry.

“We plan to execute a project there to build an office and training centre to service the Upper Corentyne,” the minister underlined.

Also, in Region Nine, the minister said, “We have started to use a building that was built and left useless. We are now doing training programmes there”.

He stated that the ministry plans to inject funds at a cost of some $20 million into the building for development and training for North Rupununi.

Rehabilitation works to the tune of $25 million will be injected to complete the Learning and Resource Centre for BIT at Unity.

“The intention for the Unity building is to utilise it as a training centre to certify and accredit persons who already have a skill. So, we have persons who are carpenters, masons, and electricians who don’t have the requisite certification and qualifications,” he informed the Committee of Supply.

Some $10 million will also be injected to complete rehabilitation works at the Bartica Learning Resource Centre for the training of BIT students.

This initiative aligns with the government’s policy of delivering technical and vocational training programmes with the view of addressing the demand for skills in various sectors.

Minister Hamilton said currently, BIT offers many skills training programmes that are accessible to citizens countrywide.

He said these programmes were mostly centred on the coastland and its environs, and were not available to persons elsewhere. This, he noted, changed when the PPP/C Administration assumed office in August 2020 to ensure the programmes are more inclusive, and accessible to all citizens.

“BIT is available in every region and sub-region of this country. Every hinterland region, river, every creek, and so the expansion you talk about has already happened…the expansion started in August 2020” he relayed.

In relation to training, Minister Hamilton highlighted that some 5,600 persons graduated from BIT programmes in 2022.

He said government remains committed to providing the necessary support for persons to be employed or become entrepreneurs.

Some 40 persons are being trained in Region Ten for the heavy-duty operator programme. This year, BIT intends to train almost 8,000 persons countrywide.