Govt partnering with key stakeholders to ensure TVET skills reach youth, workforce

The government is committed to ensuring youths who have the technical aptitude are provided with the same level of counsel and facilities provided to academic learners as more emphasis is placed on technical and vocational education training in Guyana.

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton said this commitment is shared by the Greater Guyana Initiative (GGI) Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) programme which was conceptualised to develop the local workforce and build human capacity through the enhancement of education to promote sustainable economic diversification in Guyana.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton delivering remarks at the GGI Celebration event

Minister Hamilton was at the time speaking at the GGI’s celebration ceremony hosted at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre (LTVTC), on Friday.

He lauded the TVET programme at the Centre, deeming it ‘a project with a great purpose’. 

“…The long-term project must be to revolutionise education and learning in this country. We must ensure that the children who have the aptitudes to be technical, [are] given …the same counsel and guidance and facilities at an early age,” the minister underscored.

Exxon’s President, Alistair Routledge delivering remarks at the GGI Celebration event

The training programme’s second phase commenced in 2020 between New Amsterdam and Linden Technical Institutes.

Under the programme, the learning institutes underwent a major overhaul resulting in the retrofitting of its workshops with modern equipment directly enhancing the learning experience for students in the areas of Electrical Installation and Welding.

One of the critical lessons in this initiative is the element of safe work and safe working behaviour, relating to the concept that safety is not a priority but a value.

Further, the exposure to these technically advanced programmes anticipates a rise in the quality and job performance of the recipients.

Participants at the GGI Celebration event.

Additionally, the US$100 million upskilling programme is a ten-year investment made by the Stabroek Block co-ventures, ExxonMobil Guyana Limited, Hess Guyana Exploration Limited, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (C-TVET) and LearnCorp International.

Meanwhile, Exxon’s President, Alistair Routledge said the investment in these training programmes is about raising the standard of employment, therefore raising the standard of prosperity while having a sustainable and competitive economy.

Shots of the improved wielding and electrical workshops.

“Oil and gas resources we all know are finite and the more important resources of the country are its people and you are the future generation. You are the future of the economy and of society and by investing in you we are investing in the future of the country. Programmes like these are critical because technology helps drive competitiveness and it is all forms of technology,” he shared.

In addition, Routledge disclosed that last year, Exxon invested in a workforce study that covers a five-year window from 2023 to 2028.

Shots of the improved wielding and electrical workshops.

Focusing on five sectors of the economy, which included oil and gas, construction, transportation, agriculture and health care.

The forecasts reveal the need for an additional 50,000 people in the workforce in these areas.

Similarly, Dr Ritesh Tularama, Deputy Chief Education Officer representing the Minister of Education said the programme aligns with the ministry’s strategic vision of educational empowerment made possible through collaboration. 

“The Ministry of Education in its strategic vision carefully articulates that vision that every single child that exits the secondary school by extension post-secondary institution must do so with a skills certificate and here we are realising that vision.

 It requires partnerships, it requires collaboration, it requires networking, it requires the form of sharing information and so here we are today as a testimony to the realisation of the strong relationship that the Government of Guyana, the Ministry of Education would’ve fostered with the Greater Guyana Initiative,” he stated.

The event concluded with a walkthrough of the improved welding and electrical workshops.

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