Technical conference to address national skills shortage -Minister Hamilton

Minster of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton has said a national skills conference will be convened next year to create linkages for skilled persons in the technical, mining and agriculture sectors.

Minister Hamilton said while making assessments of the needs of the labour force in Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine he received several complaints about the shortage of technical workers.  As such, a decision was taken to convene the forum to match skills with vacancies

“We have to do it in a joint and collaborative way. In my view, we have to do it nationally and we have to be specific as per region. Region Five and Six there are agricultural regions, there needs will be different to Region Ten,” Minister Hamilton told DPI in a recent interview.

To this end, the Ministry will engage the University of Guyana, the Private Sector Commission, Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association and the leadership of the Trade Unions to structure an 11-person steering committee to spearhead this initiative.  

The Committee will be chaired by the newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), Mr. David Armogan, who is also the Regional Chairman of Region Six.

“We will have two representatives from the University of Guyana, two from the Trades Union umbrella body and also jointly, between the private sector and the GMSA, there will be two reps. Two from the TVET Council and at the level of the Ministry of Labour, the CEO of the Board of Industrial Training and the Deputy Head of the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency will be my representatives,” the Minister said.

Minister Hamilton relayed that despite the numerous training programmes offered by the BIT, the maximum benefits were not realised as it failed to fill the skills shortage gaps.

“For us to able to properly make a determination, to have a conference where all the technical and industrial, whether public or private sector, will reach at one place and discuss about the real needs and then to seek to put before the nation a plan of action, that will indicate who will do what and how it will be done and how we will assess issues,” he said.

The Minister said the conference is the first part of remedying this situation and once a plan of action is approved it can be administered across the regions.