Last Updated on Saturday, 28 May 2022, 18:30 by Denis Chabrol
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Saturday encouraged part-time government employees to take up opportunities to become qualified, even as the administration appeared poised to allow foreigners to take up jobs in the booming oil-related economy.
“I hope that all of you, who are going to work on the programme, you see this as a stepping stone for something bigger, not this as an end in itself,” he said in explaining that they could sign up for a remedial education programme and use that qualification to be admitted for a government-funded scholarship. He issued the stirring appeal as he announced that 1,000 residents of Linden would be paid $40,000 per month for 10 days.
Stressing that it was not mandatory or compulsory, he suggested that take up opportunities under the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships. Mr. Jagdeo said the part-time workers would be employed in libraries, hospitals and schools while they are studying. “This is just to ensure that people have some income at this point in time,” he said. In all, he said 8,000 to 10,000 Guyanese would be employed countrywide because there are not many job opportunities in Region Five (Mahaica-West Berbice), Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Linden and other parts of Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice), and Essequibo county.
The governing People’s Progressive Party had campaigned on the promise of providing 50,000 jobs but Mr Jagdeo said that most of the opportunities are in Region Three (West Demerara-Essequibo Islands) and Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) “We are not getting as many investments because investments don’t want to come out so far so we now have to find other opportunities to find jobs for people until we can train them or get investments coming into the community or they can travel to work in Region Four,” he said.
The Vice President restated that foreign workers were on standby to come to Guyana to work. “This is important- working for our country- because we need al of our people now. In fact, we may have in the future to import labourers to come and work here,” he said.
He said many of them regard Guyana as a prime destination to come an work.
Speaking to hundreds of Lindeners in what is historically a stronghold for the opposition People’s National Congress Reform-led A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), Mr. Jagdeo questioned the opposition’s call for full-time jobs against the backdrop of the closure of a call centre in 2015 that had employed an estimated 80 persons.
A number of concerns, including the unavailability of a promised ambulance, drainage issues, freight-related problems concerning high prices of imports, the need for a decentralised police-clearance system, and entry to the Cyril Potter College of Education.