Foreign language training for Labour, OSH Officers -Min. Hamilton

Labour and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Officers are to be trained in foreign languages to ensure effective communication with the workforce. 

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton made this disclosure during an interview with DPI on his two-day visit to Cuyuni-Mazaruni (Region Seven) last week.

Training will be available in Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish.

Minister Hamilton said foreign language training is important due to the expected large influx of migrants whose first language may not be English.

“Whether it be employers or employees, at the level of the Labour Department and OSH, we have to be prepared to interact and engage them,” Minister Hamilton explained.

Twenty-four employees at the Ministry are currently learning Portuguese.

Minister Hamilton said the language training will ensure there is proper supervision of labour relations and workplace interventions.

“In some of the mining districts, you have foreigners there – Brazilians and Venezuelans – and therefore, the Officers must be able to communicate with them to ensure labour and OSH laws are not breached.”

The Minister added that the Ministry will work with the University of Guyana which offers free Mandarin classes.

The Ministry is taking steps to ensure every region is equipped with at least two Labour and OSH officers, who can expect continuous foreign language training.

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