Govt to provide skills training for persons with disabilities

The Government will soon begin rolling out a series of vocational and skills training programmes for persons living with disabilities (PWDs), to enable them to obtain gainful employment.

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton said the training will be conducted under the aegis of the Ministry’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT).

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton during his engagement with the Region Four RDC

“They don’t want to be wards of the state, they don’t want to be people who persons think they always need something, they want to be people who are engaged,” Minister Hamilton said.

The Minister made this statement today during an engagement with the Region Four Regional Democratic Council at La Bonne Intention community ground.  He informed the regional officers of the Ministry’s plans for Region Four, which include training for all sections of the population.

He also identified Mr. Ganesh Singh, who has a visual impairment, who benefitted from a scholarship under the PPP/C Administration to study Information Technology at the University of Guyana.

Today, Mr. Singh serves as Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities. He is also said to be the only technically competent person in Guyana who can train visually impaired persons to utilise ICT platforms.

“He has been successful in helping people write CXC and pass. He has a disability and is giving to society in a meaningful way,” Minister Hamilton said.

The Government therefore, is embracing its responsibility to train persons with disabilities with marketable skills so that they too can contribute to development.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Hon. Vindhya Persaud interacts with this young woman during a recent outreach in Mocha

In keeping with this, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security will also be providing similar training in 2021.

Minister, Hon. Dr. Vindhya Persaud told DPI in a recent interview, her Ministry has been engaging PWDs to ensure they are benefitting from support and training programmes offered by the Government.

The Ministry is actively training persons in partnership with the Small Business Bureau, the Institute of Private Enterprise Development, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Private Sector Commission.

“I have written to all of these agencies to start employing persons living with disabilities and ensuring not only are they employed, but they are paid equally for the work they do…. because when I spoke with them, they do want to work but they feel excluded so we have to change that perception,” Minister Persaud said.

The Persons with Disabilities Act mandates the Ministries of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Culture, Youth and Sport and Education to collaborate, design and implement programmes that provide skills training for PWDs. It also provides for appropriate vocational measures which serves to develop the skills and potential of PWDs and enable them to compete favourably for available, productive and remunerative employment opportunities.