Women, police officers among persons benefiting from heavy duty operation course in Mabaruma

The Board of Industrial Training (BIT) is conducting its first heavy -duty equipment operation training in Mabaruma, Region One, as part of a series of training programmes being rolled out in the Barima-Waini region.

Two females and two police officers stationed at the Mabaruma Police Station are part of the first batch of 17 persons participating in the four-week programme.

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton

Juliana Santiago, who hails from Khans Hill is one of the two females participating in the programme. The 19-year-old, who is also serving as a Community Support Officer (CSO) withing her community, said the course will allow her to acquire a skill that is needed in the region.

Juliana Santiago

“I started this programme because I am interested in it and it is the first time something like this is coming to our community,” she said.

Another youth, Shane Rousa, who hails from Thomas Hill thanked the government for the timely training programme which he said, will benefit his community in a significant way. The newly acquired skill, he said will help him to secure a job within the construction or mining sectors.

Shane Rouse

On Monday, Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton met with the participants and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to providing skills training to every citizen regardless of where they live.  

“No place is too far with regards to training our citizens. That is why the first thing we did is to appoint a BIT officer here; in fact, in every region there are BIT officers to sit with village councils and community leaders to develop training programmes,” he said.

Juliana inspecting the machine before operating

Minister Hamilton emphasised the need for reskilling the Guyanese workforce to meet the needs of new and emerging industries.

A one skill and a one talent person will not survive the world of today. Guyana is developing, it is moving and if you don’t equip yourselves people who are foreigners will come in and do better than you,” he told the trainees.

In Region One, the minister said the ministry is engaging the Guyana Manganese Inc. (GMI) at Matthews Ridge to have apprenticeship programmes for trainees. The company had expressed dismay over having to import heavy -duty operators from other regions to work.

Minister Hamilton handing over the cheque to Toshao of Kamwatta, Riley Henry

Minister Hamilton was accompanied by Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Shem Cuffy, Mayor of Mabaruma, Chris Phang and BIT Officer, Mabaruma, Trevi Leung.

He also visited Kamwatta and handed over a cheque of $250,000 to Toshao Riley Henry to purchase equipment for the practical aspect of a shade house farming course in the area. Ten persons are participating in that course, which is expected to benefit the over 400 persons residing in the community.

Additionally, another cheque was handed over to the mayor to purchase equipment for materials to commence a welding and fabrication course within Mabaruma. Ten persons are also enrolled in that programme. The BIT Officer also received a motorcycle to carry out his duties.

The Ministry of Labour, through BIT has trained over 2,000 persons in over 100 skilled areas last year. This year, it is expected that some 3,000 persons will be trained under BIT countrywide.