Lone female in her batch, Region 3 woman certified in handling heavy-duty equipment
Fifty-year-old Diana Chitram, is now a qualified heavy-duty equipment operator having completed four months of intense training through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT).
The lone woman among 17 men, the Region Three resident reinforced the fact that women can do as much as men.
She was among the 204 graduates who received their certificates on Tuesday during a graduation ceremony at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre (LT&VTC).
Speaking with DPI, Diana said she loves the profession, and the absence of adequately trained female heavy-duty equipment operators in Guyana is what propelled her to undergo the programme.
“Many of us can handle the machine well and careful too, but I am not saying that we are better than men because we have equal agenda. So, I am happy that I did the training and I was happy to work among the men. The training was challenging, but today I deserve what I got,” she related.
Diana is encouraging other women to follow suit so that they too, can be part of a male dominated profession.
“It is not hard. All you have to do is make up your mind like when you are doing any other things like cooking because everything has its own art, and everything takes time.”
Much like Diana, 30-year-old Mohamed Arif Rasheed was one of two men who were trained in commercial food preparation.
He said that, “at first, it was kind of uncomfortable, but as I got along with the women, it was quite comfortable and everything went good, you know, the learning process was nice and smooth.”
For other men also interested in the programme, Mohamed has advised that they eliminate all negative thoughts and “go for what they want as it is their life.”
For David Baird, participating in the commercial food preparation course was to simply learn how to cook, and to not only help himself, but others.
“At the home, you really need to help out your wife and kids, especially if you have many kids at home. This is a fact especially when you, the male venture off into a business and your wife need that helping hand.”
Delivering his feature address, Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton, M.P. commended the graduates for taking advantage of the training so that they could be marketable for the many available job opportunities.
“Region Three will be an economic zone, as Region Three has already earmarked three shore bases to be built… so opportunities are before you, and you are at a place now where you do not have to seek your fortunes far away,” he said.
The labour minister urged persons to register on the ministry’s recently launched national job bank website to connect with potential employers.
Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Bishram Kuppen shared similar sentiments. He told the graduates that the graduation ceremony marks a new chapter in their lives and as such, they need to continue on the path of self-empowerment to contribute to the country’s development.
“Beyond today, and in the furtherance of your education and skill sets, I would encourage you to enroll in courses or activities that will encourage you. Do not let this be the end of your training,” Kuppen urged.
Also present at the ceremony were Region Three Vice Chairman Omesh Satyanand, LT&VTC’s Chairman Floyd Scott and other officials.
Region Three residents are the latest batch of individuals to graduate from various training programmes from BIT.