Close to 6,000 locals employed in oil and gas sector
Guyanese continue to enjoy boundless employment opportunities within the oil and gas sector, as almost 6,000 locals are currently employed within the industry.
At a press conference held at the Guyana Forestry Commission on Tuesday, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, said that this amount represents approximately 70 per cent of the total workforce in the oil and gas sector.
The minister noted that the government intends to implement systems to expand this amount, so focus is being placed on building capacity to meet the growing demand.
“Oil and gas is new to us. There aren’t many oil and gas trained professionals around in our country. Most who are trained and qualified are already employed. So, this means that we as government and private sector have a responsibility to ensure that we build capacity locally,” he asserted.
The Guyana Technical Training College is currently being constructed at Port Mourant, Berbice, to advance this vision. Once completed, the facility is expected to provide industry-level training equivalent to that of the rest of the Caribbean, to meet the demand for skilled professionals.
The natural resources minister added that the government is also engaging several companies in offering technical scholarships to Guyanese to pursue their studies in specialised fields. CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited (CPGL) has responded to this call, and currently, four Guyanese students are pursuing studies in Petroleum Sciences in China for the academic year 2023-2024.
“There is a commitment by the company to send six more in a two-year period. So, we will have ten students studying petroleum engineering in China, and that is just one example in what we’re doing in order to build capacity, both in and out of the country,” Minister Bharrat stated.
Importantly, the minister underscored the challenge of individuals possessing technical skills without the requisite certifications, hindering their employment prospects. The Guyana Technical Training College will play a pivotal role in addressing this gap by providing quality training programmes aligned with industry standards.