Minister Bharrat urges Guyanese to sharpen skills for oil industry

As Guyana advances its plan for transformational development, Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat, is encouraging citizens to augment their skills, and to continue to pursue professional development.

Minister Bharrat made the call during his keynote address at the virtual Indo-Caribbean Webinar on “Oil and Gas – Training, Skill, Development and Employment” on Friday.

Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat

He reminded participants that Guyana and the world are rapidly changing and it is imperative that citizens position themselves to conquer the challenges and demands that will arise.

“In 2020, local employees under the Stabroek Block grew by 23 per cent with 2,338 persons being hired in the following areas: managerial professionals such as lawyers, engineers, business executives, and other skilled technicians such as plumbers, electricians, crane operators, and welders to name a few.

With more developments to come onstream and other operators to discover oil, the demand for skilled workers will only increase.”

As such, the Minister urged the participants to enhance their skills and build their capacities to increase their eligibility. Further, he implored citizens to establish partnerships, learn from each other and to be innovative.

“It is no longer business as usual for Guyana, and the Government will continue to ensure that our policies and regulatory frameworks are conducive for local companies that work in this sector and garner the necessary resources needed to take advantage of these new opportunities.”

With growing demands for certain skills and services, Minister Bharrat said Guyana needs a private sector that is driven by innovation, ambition, and a passion for excellence. He added that oil-support businesses would create linkages with other sectors, increasing value retention across the economy. 

The Minister explained that this would create a wider impact across the nation, which aligns with the Government’s goals for holistic national development. He said it is imperative that investments are strategically executed to benefit multiple sectors so that returns are maximised.

Minister Bharrat noted that with the influx of visitors and businesses, there will be more need for accommodation, logistics, transportation, medical, and relocation services. There would also be a growing demand for welding and fabrication skills, as the Government continues to require the Stabroek Block operator to utilise already established local skills and engineers.

The involvement and use of these very skills and services, Minister Bharrat noted, will be a catalyst for improving the variety and quality of services available for other sectors.