Women to benefit from new BIT programme in Region Seven

As part of a collaborative effort to integrate women in the energy sector in Guyana, the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) in collaboration with the Human Services and Social Security Ministry, Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched the Energy Matrix Diversification programme in Region Seven.

This programme was launched, on Monday. 

Officials and the participants

Some 32 women from Bartica, Region Seven are set to benefit from the programme which is geared towards strengthening the energy sector. This programme is also referred to as solar installation training.

The programme will last for three weeks and includes both practical and theoretical maintenance issues.

Participants will receive certification after completing the competency training programme through BIT.

Delivering brief remarks, Chief Executive Officer of BIT, Richard Maughn stated that the main focus of the training is to ensure that women are able to participate in the energy sector just as their male counterparts.

“We are confident that you will be able to develop yourself, the skills, and the competencies to make you to be able to use the knowledge, the information and the skill required over the next three weeks,” he noted.

Chief Executive Officer of BIT, Richard Maughn

The BIT CEO emphasised that at the end of the training, the women should be able to utilise the skills acquired to benefit, not only themselves but their communities as well.

“It is not just about learning the theory, but it’s about you being able to have the relevant skills so that you can go out and make money and make a difference. The people who have skill make money. Once, you have a skillset, you can make money from it. You can see your social and economic situations can change drastically if you are able to apply the skillset that you will be acquiring over the next three weeks…this is all about livelihood,” he underscored to the participants.

The CEO extended gratitude to IDB for the funding to execute the programme. A weekly stipend will also be provided to the participants.

Speaking during the launch, Consultant of IDB, Candace Ramessar said that the gender analysis which was done provided some insight into how men are benefitting more than women in the energy sector in Guyana.

From the assessment, she noted, “we found that there’s a lag or there’s a deficit, or a difference between the way men are benefitting and the way women are benefitting and there’s really no reason for that. In Guyana, we have a national gender equality policy which says that we are working towards gender equality in sectors of the country.”

Some of the participants of the Energy Matrix Diversification training programme

Ramessar highlighted that the programme is part of the government and the IDB’s policies that there should be gender equality. This is part of Sustainable Development Goal number five which speaks about gender equality in all sectors.

The Prime Minister’s Representative of Region Seven, Erwin Ward implored the participants to take advantage of the training, “there’s a sacrifice in everything that you do in life, in the end, it will be rewarding.

As a government, we are bent and improving the lives of each and every Guyanese and we’re very serious about that.”

The Energy Matrix Diversification and Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Energy (EMISDE) initiative, which is supported by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank, includes the Women Empowerment in Energy Programme (WEEP) programme.

The BIT offers more than 83 skills training programmes, which are accessible to citizens countrywide. These include motor mechanics, plumbing, catering, cake decorating, garment construction, ICT, small engine and solar panel repairs and heavy-duty equipment operation.

The government continues to support every initiative geared at ensuring citizens, including women, are provided with the necessary skill sets to match the country’s development. BIT Technical Officer with responsibility for Region Seven, Joseph Bharrat and the Human Resource Officer of BIT, Melinda Kelly also attended the launch.