Over 50 register for online heavy-duty machinery course
─ take advantage of a cost-free programme
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Over 50 Guyanese are taking advantage of the free online courses in repair and maintenance of heavy machinery that is being offered through a collaboration between the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and Machinery Corporation of Guyana Limited (MACORP).
The courses will be facilitated by MACORP under its Caterpillar ‘Technicians for the Caribbean’ programme, while the Ministry will provide support to access to computer systems and the internet. The certified training programme was officially launched on Monday, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), where persons of all ages, including women, turned up in their numbers to officially register and become more au fait with the courses offered.
Akeem Boston, who is employed with Big Boss Transportation Services, expressed elation to be able to access the free training programme, “something a lot of youths don’t have access to,” he noted. Being in the transportation business, the young Boston said that he is very committed to the programme. Once he would have completed the course and increased his knowledge base, he plans to enhance his career.
17-year old Shaundel McBeth is one of the few women who expressed interest in the programme. She noted that after completing the online programme, she plans to pursue a career in the field at MACORP. Commending the implementation of the programme she said, “It’s a great opportunity for young people to get involved in training opportunities and it’s a great way to empower youths and they learn a new skill as well.”
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Hon. Catherine Hughes, during a charge to participants, remarked that the course is in keeping with the administration’s vision of ensuring Guyanese are empowered with the skills and knowledge that will make them employable.
Minister Hughes noted that with the new and emerging oil and gas industry and growing mining industry, these skills are being offered ‘free of cost’, will be in demand; therefore, the administration is partnering with MACORP to offer same. Additionally, she noted that with resources imminent from the oil sector, more scholarships will be offered to meet the growing needs of the labour market.
“We know that ship and the oil and gas industry with not employ hundreds of us, but the key to it is all the additional services that will be required, and already this government has a policy that we are not looking at oil alone. Oil and oil reserves is a means to do so many other things… When you have additional monies coming into your economy then you can give more scholarships… Our vision is to ensure that everybody has an opportunity and that means that when it comes to the industries, we want to build; we must have the technical persons.”
The minister acknowledged that today’s youths are very versed in technology, and as such, urged that they use that knowledge productively. “You have no excuse; we are going to help you to learn,” she underscored.
The government has established over 170 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hubs in communities across the country. These hubs, along with the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) will be used as centres for the training programme. Persons will be at various locations to guide the process.
Weneta Pooran, MACORP’s Learning Centre Administrator, noted that the company is committed to the development of Guyana through training and youth empowerment as part of its social responsibility. The programme, she affirmed, will transform the education and labour sectors.
Pooran explained that all the courses are virtual, and can be accessed from the comfort of the participants’ homes, school, library, an internet hub or from anywhere there is an internet connection. The curriculum consists of 18 courses: four Introductory courses, ten Level-1 courses and four Level-2 courses. It can be completed with three to six months. Upon completion, participants will be certified and can move on to the practical aspect of the programme at MACORP.
It noted that the participants can use their newly acquired knowledge and certificate of completion to gain employment in the auto, trucking or heavy equipment field or get promoted if they are already employed.
This year, MACORP signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Public Telecommunications Ministry and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs to offer training to Guyanese youths. Thus far, 961 persons have registered and to date, 41 were certified and moved on to the practical aspect of the programme.