Two hundred women are set to benefit from the Women Empowerment in Energy Programme (WEEP), a collaboration among the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and the Small Business Bureau (SBB).
This will see participants from Regions Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) receiving training in theoretical and practical aspects of energy maintenance.
Speaking following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Head of GEA, Dr Mahender Sharma, explained that the training is part of a larger project.
“The GEA is in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, through the BIT to advance a component of one project we are undertaking and that project is the Energy Matrix Diversification Programme,” he said.
The Energy Matrix Diversification and Institutional Strengthening of the Department of Energy (EMISDE) Programme is one that aims to evolve Guyana’s energy sector by investing in sustainable energy solutions to diversify the primary energy source in the Hinterland, while contributing to climate change mitigation.
It also seeks to invest in the reinforcement of transmission infrastructure to improve reliability and stability of the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS), and strengthen the Department of Energy to develop a regulatory framework and improve institutional capacity and governance of the Oil and Gas sector.
Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton, reiterated the importance of involving women in training programmes across the country.
He urged persons not to just look at men when thinking of Technical and Vocational Education Training, since women take up more than half of Guyana’s population.
“A census in 2012 indicated that nearly 52 per cent of the people that lived in Guyana were females. And we have a census that was launched just last week. My prediction is that it will show up about 55 per cent of the population is female. And so, we cannot afford to exclude from Technical and Vocational Training more than half of the population,” the Minister said.
The WEEP programme is a two-part training funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and will last for a period of one year.
The business training will be facilitated through the SBB while BIT will conduct training in the building and maintenance of Solar Photovoltaic equipment.
The first training will be conducted in October. Sixty-five will be trained in business management skills and 35 in Photovoltaic maintenance in Region Seven.
Each group of women will attend sessions over three days in the case of business training. These sessions will include theory and practical elements of small business management in Guyana.
The solar PV training will be conducted over two weeks and consist of practical and theoretical aspects of Photovoltaic repairs.
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is also an implementing partner of the initiative.