Some 100 persons in Mahdia benefitting from BIT programme

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton is conducting a three-day outreach in Mahdia, Region Eight, to assess and review ongoing training under the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) programme.

The minister, on Monday, first paid a visit to the Mahdia fire station, where he met and interacted with trainees of the heavy-duty equipment programme. The batch consists of about 22 persons, almost half of which are females.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton interacting with trainees on Monday

The participants lauded the programme, and stated that it has helped them to get one step closer to building their careers in the industrial field.

One such participant was Dominique Govana, who stated that she has always had an interest in the operation of heavy-duty machinery.

She said, “When I was younger, I used to be scared of excavators and machines. Then when I finally got into one, I realised I could do this. I have always been interested in engines and driving and machines.”

Another eager participant was 23- year- old Shawn Spavis, who noted that the training has been a welcome challenge for him.

“My father is an engineer, and he inspired me to start this and experience it for myself,” he divulged.

The instructor, Nigel Gordon, noted that the programme offers persons alternative avenues for earning income.

“Even though this is a gold mining area, they are able to do other things. It is also a good programme for young people, ” he said.

Minister Hamilton also paid a visit to R & J Ramphall Workshop and Tyre Repair shop, where 10 persons are being trained in welding. The minister oversaw the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the trainees.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton interacting with participants during one of the training sessions

Minister Hamilton commended all participants for capitalising on the opportunity, especially the female participants for choosing traditionally male-dominated sectors.

The minister also met with a license and certifying officer at the Guyana Police Force Divisional Headquarters in the region, to discuss supplying the trainees with licences at the end of their training.

He emphasised the importance of ensuring that these persons are licensed to operate machinery, so that they may be able to ply the trade.

“We have had instances where we have several persons in different hinterland villages have the skill to drive heavy duty equipment but cannot get a job because they are unlicensed. So that is why we are ensuring that all the graduates are licensed,” the minister explained during an interview at Radio Mahdia, 95.1 FM.

Additionally, Minister Hamilton stated that the BIT programmes are being expanded to far-flung areas where they were not previously accessible.

“In the two years of us being in government, we have already trained 7,500 persons across the country,”he noted.

This forms part of the administration’s efforts to upskill Guyanese regardless of their location.