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Govt cannot provide jobs ; emphasis is on self-employment – Granger

An APNU+AFC campaign promise still stands out among the hustle and bustle of the Stabroek Market Square.

An APNU+AFC campaign promise still stands out among the hustle and bustle of the Stabroek Market Square.

One year on after an election campaign promise to create thousands of jobs, President David Granger said it is not government’s responsibility to do so.

“There is no magic wand. The government cannot provide jobs in the government service, in the police force or the defence force,” he said on this week’s edition of ‘Public Interest.’

Noting that it is difficult for the more than 4,000 youths, who drop out of school annually to find jobs, Granger stressed that ways have to be found to ensure that children qualify themselves at school to prepare for the job market. “Once they qualify it will be easier for them to move into fields which I think could lead to self employment.”

“Employment is not something to be provided by the government. There is self-employment and we are working with the villages to generate more employment in those villages but it is going to be agro-based employment,” he added.

The 2015 general elections campaign manifesto states: “The aim of your new government is to create jobs, jobs and more jobs in the shortest time possible. Our young people cannot wait “five more years” for jobs for which they could be adequately trained and could get better pay and greater job satisfaction.”

The President observed that in most rural communities there are opportunities for agro-production of pepper sauce, jam, cassava and plantain chips. “These are commodities which could be sold in our own restaurants. “Job creation does not necessarily depend exclusively on the government but educated people- people who have been trained in management, have been trained in other fields, economics, in business administration at the university- could create jobs for themselves and that is the future of Guyana,” he said.

On the matter of the unavailability of concession and capital and credit to get into large scale farming and agro-processing, President Granger said there are Guyanese who could invest their capital.

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan added that it is merely government’s responsibility to create the environment for the private sector to create permanent rather than short-term jobs mainly in the agricultural sector. “To create permanent jobs, we have to look at the sectors, we have to have an agricultural that is more diversified not sugar and just rice. It has to be far more diversified in terms of the crops that we plant and then what we do after we plant those crops in terms of adding the second and third and fourth stages of production,” he said.

Asked whether government would be providing seed financing for large scale agricultural production, he said “perhaps got to wait until the oil starts flowing.”  The American oil giant, Exxon-Mobil, hopes to begin commercial oil production by 2021.

Jordan, however, said government would be providing seed financing for youths to explore their ideas to the point of becoming a business.

Other key ingredients for job creation, he said, include the need to create a stable political environment and reduce reliance on primary products like sugar, rice and bauxite.

The Finance Minister said Guyana needed to build the foundation to create stable and higher quality jobs. While he declined to put a time frame, he said it would require a lot of work including government’s direct financing and expansion to the intermediate savannas. “It’s a lot and it calls for a lot of money.

The APNU+AFC manifesto notes that young people demand jobs and that there will be employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mining, agro-processing and the arts to provide jobs and promote economic growth.

The coalition has also promised to establish adequate computer labs and information technology and training in every school. APNU+AFC will create vocational and business schools which will directly reduce the unemployment rate,especially among youth.

The most effective way of alleviating poverty, according to APNU+AFC, is rapid growth alongside the provision of jobs at a living wage and creating opportunities for self-employment (land reform, credit and financing, market research, equipment, technology and business skills). The objective is an integrated employment strategy.

The coalition also stated that there would be the designing and implementing a self-employment training component of the employment and growth strategy to prepare persons for self-employment in modern services, including services for Information Communications Technology and Small and Medium Enterprises, software development, business processes and medical records transcription.

  • rs dasai

    Transparency is the KeY.

    • Kulie_Boy22

      Another topic, another subject.

  • Col123

    OH LAWD me GAAD!… the truth is now out…Now I have to acknowledge that as an Afro Guyanese, I am really disappointed!…these people found themselves a government job.with a 50% raiser!..and now they do not have jobs for our Afro Guyanese folks!…now..what do they expect our lazy folks who lack the initiative , skills and motivation to work, to do in these hard times..them COOLIE people are working hard and eating salt an rice ..but they look rich still…where is the good life that these people promise us…It look like them COOLIE people are still getting rich and this govt is not helping us…where is reason, burch, shootist, vatvic , reason craig,,and them guys who can help us…say something to the govt padna!

    • Surujpaul Rampersaud

      Col, this is what you call ” bait and switch”. My father used to tell me” rice got plenty speed while boiling in a pot but in the plate it is placid as ever”. The President and his crew in opposition were very vociferous but now at the helm of power they are back peddling. The president is correct that there are a lot of opportunities in agriculture and scope for self employment. However,it the responsibility of his government to lay the groundwork and provide training in the necessary skills for people to take on the challenges. So far all he is doing is preaching.

      • Col123

        Yea…agree..agriculture has the greatest potential for self employment and self sufficiency … but as that Craig guy that blog here would note… only them COOLIE can handle that kind of labor and fatigue..them COOLIE as Craig call them are now converting their cane land into vegetable production…them coolie a get more rich now…

        • Surujpaul Rampersaud

          The talk that only Indo Guyanese can do agriculture is pure balloney. I grew up in rural Guyana where both Afro and Indo Guyanese had farms. We all reared cows and sheep in those days. We all had farm beds at plantation Park.The Africans were then mostly self employed. My father practiced part time carpentry which he learnt from uncle Carl Peters and uncle Edward Innis.
          The blame must be put on the doors of Forbes Burnham. He moved the Afro Guyanese from self employment to government jobs. This turned out to be very detrimental

          • Col123

            The past is long gone… added to the detriment you mentioned is work ethics…moreso, the evolution of a culture of dependence!..

          • Kulie_Boy22

            Now you are starting to make some sence

          • Kulie_Boy22

            Thanks for letting this guy know the truth. Afro Guyanese came here as slaves planting sugar cane cotton among other crops. Lets don’t get confused with laziness.

          • Col123

            Laziness is not politically correct to label the non productive able bodied folks in Guyana …no work ethics is appropriate.

        • Kulie_Boy22

          African came to Guyana before the Indians, as slaves, Planting SUGAR CANE. and COTTON, did you say agri-culture? So please lets stop stigmatizing one people over another.

      • Kulie_Boy22

        I agree with your statement especially the last paragraph

    • Kulie_Boy22

      Why coolie have to come in your sentence? My friend I think, and know that you are being racial here.

      • Col123

        So… Where are your comments again when Craig Hughes uses that word in his attacks?

  • Klip

    It’s amazing that his excellent excellency does not understand that a government creating jobs does not mean expanding the public sector but creating a favourable environment so that industries will be established thereby creating jobs.

  • Col123

    So.. remind me again where I can find your comments to push back when Craig Hughes writes it?

  • Col123

    Those “economists” with their lips on taxpayers teats?..

  • Gtloyal

    “… to begin commercial oil production by 2021…”
    The way you guys are going, you are convincing me daily that you do not want to be around to provide that seed financing for large scale agricultural production with that oil money.

    • Col123

      Hey… GT.. still wondering if your dieties have any clue at governing ?…it is not hitting you in your face yet?…hang around..they will convince you sooner or later..

      • Gtloyal

        Hey Col 23, my neighbor has a donkey that is more interesting to listen to.

        • Col123

          that explains your wisdom…wise axx

          • Gtloyal

            I am so wise you insist daily on replying to my more than interesting comments.
            Have a nice day dude … if you can, with that mindset. And thanks for making me laugh this early hour.

  • Col123

    Yea…and the thief men hitting them self employed and empowered folks on a daily basis….

  • Col123

    What is wrong with stealing and robbing them Indos ?..that is where the money is!..remember .. there were no stealing and robbing Indos during Burnham time… Jaggie taught them….

  • Surujpaul Rampersaud

    Ashwan, please be a little more objective. You are seeing a problem. What suggestions do you have to resolve it. Sometimes we need to let the past go and live in the present and for the future.