Over 60 Region One youths graduate from BIT programmes
Over 60 young people from Mabaruma and Matthews Ridge, Region One (Barima-Waini) have successfully completed training programmes offered by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT).
The graduates received training in garment construction, welding and fabrication, heavy-duty equipment operation, shade house gardening and small engine repairs.
This is the first time residents of Matthews Ridge benefitted from training programmes by BIT.
During the graduation ceremonies held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, M.P, said the opportunities are not a favour, but rather a commitment by government to ensure persons are well-rounded and can aid the country’s development.
It is also part of government’s objective to ensure equal opportunities and services are provided to all.
“This is a way of giving you back part of your own contributions to nation building because sometimes when government brings services in the communities, some people say that we are giving handouts because that is what a government must do.
Government must look for the weak and seek to help them to make them strong. Government must look for those in darkness and find the light for them. A government must look for those who don’t have a skill and ensure we involve them in training for them to develop their skill,” Minister Hamilton told graduates.
After assuming office, the ministry found that training programmes were only administered to persons living on the coastland. The ministry has now expanded the programmes to hinterland communities.
Attention is also being placed on women empowerment.
“We have to empower our women because society has done an injustice to women as they have defined the type of job or training, they must have. We are changing that.”
Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley commended government for implementing training opportunities, especially for isolated communities.
He said persons who benefitted from the heavy-duty equipment operator programme are now employed by the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).
“In the coming weeks, we will continue to ensure that employment opportunities are provided because we are committed as a RDC with the support of our central government, not only to talk the talk, but walk the walk, in making the dreams and aspirations of every single of these participants sitting here today, a reality,” he added.
Minister Hamilton said Labour and Occupational Safety and Health officers will be deployed to Mabaruma.