BIT programmes transforming lives, breaking gender disparities

– as 85 Region Seven residents complete their courses  

The Ministry of Labour’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT) is making a significant impact on communities, promoting gender equality, and transforming lives.

On Monday, 85 residents of Bartica and Kaburi graduated with advanced skills and knowledge through BIT courses, including electrical installation, woodworking, welding and fabrication, commercial food preparation, and garment construction.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton at the BIT graduation in Bartica on Monday

Speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the graduates expressed how their lives will be transformed, having gained new skills that will support their personal development journey.

Padmanie Benny, who has resided in the town for the past 28 years, expressed that she has been benefiting from the BIT programmes ever since she first learned of them in 2021.

Padmanie Benny collecting her Board of Industrial Certificate (BIT) from Bartica’s Mayor, Martain Murray

She completed garment construction in 2021, general building construction in 2022 and welding and fabrication in 2023.  

Benny explained that her decision to explore these types of skills stems from her desire for something different from what her community typically offers, which is teaching.

For Anisa Clementson, it was a dream come true to break free from the gender gap and the constant disparities between male and female jobs. She completed the electrical installation course.

“It was a very technical and scary course especially for a woman to undergo but I did it anyhow and I learned a lot of things. My team when we came together, we did a great job. I would encourage any young person whether male or female to practice these skills,” she noted.

Austel Evans collecting his Board of Industrial Certificate (BIT) from Bartica Regional Chairman Kerwin Ward

Clementson, from Mora Camp, explained that she opted for this field of study because it is needed in her community. The community consists mainly of squatters working towards legal ownership of their lands, and with this qualification, she will be able to assist in facilitating legal electricity connections to homes.

The BIT programmes will not only break traditional barriers for some individuals but also assist participants like Austel Evans to provide for his family. With the certification he obtained in electrical installation, Evans will be eligible for higher-paying job opportunities.

“The experience was just a brush up to what I already know. It will now enable me to be a certified electrician,” Evans emphasised.

In Bartica, 16 individuals graduated from the wood building program, 14 from electrical installation, and 15 from the welding and fabrication course, while at Kaburi, 20 individuals completed the commercial food preparation program, while another 20 graduated from garment construction.

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton underscored the importance of expanding training opportunities to enhance the nation’s human resources, thereby fostering overall development.

He disclosed that the total cost to facilitate the graduation of these 85 individuals amounts to $9,874,600 million.

“We want to ensure that every one of our citizens, both young and old, is employable in this modern society and so we are creating opportunities for them,” Minister Hamilton stressed.

The minister asserted that the government is making substantial investments to improve the quality of life in the hinterland regions, noting that Bartica is ahead of many other regions in terms of BIT facilities.

Construction of training facilities is currently underway at Corriverton and New Amsterdam, in Region Six, and at Annai in Region Nine.

“So, you have the upper hand at grasping these opportunities as they come,” Minister Hamilton told the graduates. 

Already, some of these students have been employed both by government agencies and within the private sector.

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