National conference on vocational education set for March

The Ministry of Labour’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT), on Monday, agreed to convene a steering committee to plan and execute the two-day National Conference on Vocational Education and Employability set for March, following an engagement with stakeholders.

The objective of the conference is to improve the employability of Guyanese by bringing together the relevant stakeholders to share their knowledge and experiences on the needs of the labour market.

During a meeting at his Brickdam office, Minister Hon. Joseph Hamilton highlighted the importance of the conference to address the nation’s current and future training needs, particularly as new industries emerge.

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton

“The conference is intended to bring all persons who are involved in technical and vocational educational training in one place to come up with one national strategy as to how we will train, who will train and where we will train persons to participate in technical vocational training and work thereafter.”

The Minister said while there are many training institutions across the country with different curricula, they are working in isolation and, in some cases, are providing training that is no longer relevant to the particular region.

“People might be training for things gone pass; one example is the Linden Technical Institute which might still be training persons for a bauxite industry that is existing the way it used to be 30 years and therefore, they must think about new things. In Region Six, where you have three technical institutes and reports from the Chamber is there, they don’t have mechanics to repair tractors and people are losing money,” Minister Hamilton said.

Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton addressing stakeholders during an engagement at the Ministry of Labour

He added that it is crucial that a national strategy is drafted to inform the design and implementation of training programmes that are responding to the needs of the labour force in an increasingly dynamic and demanding market. At the close of the meeting a decision was taken to convene the steering committee to manage the conference.  The committee will comprise representatives of the Ministry and BIT, the Private Sector Commission, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association, labour unions, the University of Guyana and the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training.