Gov’t committed to enhancing skills of Guyanese for oil and gas sector

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has reiterated the Government’s commitment to training Guyanese in preparation for the opportunities in the lucrative oil and gas sector.

The President made the recommitment when he addressed the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AmCham) General Meeting on Wednesday.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali addressing AmCham’s General Meeting

“In the FPSO for example, that are coming down the road, what are the requirements, what level of training is needed and we are going to ensure that we invest – whether we have to bring in the training facilities – whatever we have to do, we will invest in Guyana’s human resources to meet those needs so that we can create those opportunities here locally.”

In the gas-to-energy- pipeline project for example, President Ali reminded that the hallmark project will require “hundreds of welders”. This alone provides an opportunity for Guyanese to upskill themselves.

“We are getting exactly what is required and we are going to build a training programme to ensure that we train and have all those welders ready to take up the opportunities here locally,” President Ali said.

The Head of State noted that the training is not only to upskill Guyanese, but to ensure that the people are linked to the oil and gas industry.

“When that happens, people feel connected, and then is when people feel a part of, and then is when people realise the true benefit and the pass on benefit of the oil and gas sector and its connection to other sectors, whether it be fabrication, service development, machining, warehousing, logistics planning.”

Dr. Ali has already relayed his plans to establish an oil and gas institute in Guyana. During the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s (GMSA) 25th annual presentation last year he said, “we have commenced discussions on having a world-class, world-rated oil and gas institute and training centre right here in Guyana and we will achieve it, we must achieve it.”

The institute, the President noted, will not only train Guyanese, but also oil and gas workers in the Caribbean. Since taking office, the President has been building local capacity to tap into the oil and gas sector.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP, had said the oil and gas institute would satisfy the labour demands of the sector.

“It will have to fit into our Local Content Policy because if we are going to argue that we need 50 per cent of the workforce to be Guyanese, then we don’t want the 50 per cent to be cleaners or labourers and maids and cooks.

“We want our people to be managers, to be the technical people, to be the petroleum engineers, the reservoir engineers.”

Further, Minister Bharrat noted that the Government has already initiated discussions with its international partners to assist in the training institution.  However, while plans to move forward have been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister said they would soon be realised.