Training is key to the labour force

DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 14, 2020

Capacity building is a priority for the new Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Minister outlined several objectives that will ensure the transformation of the local labour force to suit an emerging economy.

“The objectives of the Ministry of Labour, fall under three fundamental objectives. They are capacity building; two, the issue of human development and how we ensure the socio-economic situation of citizens is upgraded and thirdly the rights of workers,” he explained.

Among the ways to ensure this, he noted, is training, and the expansion of the curriculum of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) is also on the cards. This will pave the for equal and even access whether students are on the coastland or the hinterland.

The Labour Minister noted that through the BIT programmes, they will be making a special effort to target young women and single mothers to provide them with the opportunity to learn a skill and earn a livelihood.

“We have to make opportunities for them… and in the depressed communities, we have to facilitate training to ensure they can participate in [the economy].”

Minister Hamilton also indicated that he has had discussed with Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) with regards to the possibility of utilising the Critchlow Labour College (CLC) to deliver more Industrial Training programmes.

This move, he noted, will allow more students to undergo training as it was realised that, each year, the Government Technical Institute (GTI) and the Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC) can only enrol a specific number of students into the various programmes.

To this end, the Minister has tasked the Chief Executive Officer of the BIT, Richard Maughn, to collaborate with the Principal of the Critchlow Labour College to see how best the institution can be used to facilitate more programmes being held.

Another plan the Ministry is reviewing, is the retraining of GuySuCo workers so they can be re-tooled to work in Guyana’s transforming industrial sector.

The Minister further disclosed that he is mulling the idea of a prison service training programme to offer certified Technical and Vocational Training to inmates.

Through this initiative, the approved inmates will “undergo their apprenticeship during the day with various companies, and at night, they are wards of the State. The aim they leave with a skill when their time is up.”

The Labour Minister noted that as he continues to meet and engage with various agencies, the facilitation of further training by these entities will be reviewed.