Finance Ministry prepares for oil and gas sector

─ staff exposed to training, locally and overseas

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Finance Ministry has started preparing to manage and monitor the complex oil and gas sector with first oil only a year or so away. This disclosure was made by Finance Minister Winston Jordan.

He told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that if the ministry is to really make a difference with the new sector’s arrival, the way business is conducted “really has to change dramatically”.

The minister noted that he is examining persons from within his ministry who has the capacity, identifying those who require training, determining the kind of training needed and more importantly, identifying the talent that is needed.

“My theory, for the most part, it has to be young people with some semblance of experience. Even if they don’t have but they have potential, we’ll bring them in, try to train them and so forth.”

He said that there has been a heavy focus on building staffers’ capacity since he took up his post.

“Every opportunity I see, I am sending somebody [for training].” The flipside, he added, is that there are not too many patriots left in the country. “You train them, they’re now marketable [then] they’re gone.” However, he saluted those who do decide to stay and contribute to the country’s development.

Stating that he understood why some previous ministers were not interested in training staff, he described himself as an exception.

“I continue to expose our staff, once they have potential. Even some people are astonished that I’m signing their scholarship forms because in the public service you have to wait three years before you go off on a second degree. The problem with that is if after three years [certain universities], your degree is old and they don’t accept you, so some things have to change… Sometimes, you have to go back and do a certificate rather than going on a full masters’ programme, so we have to look at all of that.”  

According to the Finance Minister, whilst the monetary compensation is not “great” within the public service, the addition of some fringe benefits offers an incentive to staffers, along with the scope for certain levels of advancement, with the same training opportunities helping to retain staff.

Paul Mc Adam.

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