BIT training thousands for oil and gas sector

Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2023, 13:55 by Denis Chabrol

Seven thousand more persons are to be trained by the Ministry of Labour’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT) for jobs that are relevant to the oil and gas sector and other job opportunities, Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton said Monday.

Mr Hamilton told the National Assembly that the 2023 National Budget provides for the training of 7,000 more persons this year. Sources told Demerara Waves Online News that the training programmes would focus on aspects of mechanical engineering, welding and fabrication, electrical installation and refrigeration technology.

The Labour Minister said that from 2020 to present, more than 7,500 persons have already been trained by BIT, with 3,086 in 2021 and 4,500 in 2022. “The numbers can be validated, You can go and check it,” he said.

Mr Hamilton chided the then coalition administration of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) for training very few persons although the then government had known in 2015 that oil was discovered in commercial quantities and production started in 2019. He said a mere 1,300 to 1,500 persons were trained by the coalition between 2015 and 2020 and no attempt was made to include riverain and hinterland communities.

“The government at the time they did nothing as regards the development of the necessary skillsets that were needed for the country’s development,”  he said.

In terms of apprenticeship, he said 173 persons were trained as apprentices in technical areas at the Guyana Sugar Corporation and BOSAI.

He boasted that 75.1 percent of the trained persons were employed ad four percent are continuing to study. Opposition parliamentarian Sherod Duncan heckled in the background, “where? part time jobs?”

Meanwhile, the BIT on Monday announced that close to 50 Region Five (Mahaica-West Berbice) residents would soon be certified in various vocational and technical programmes through the BIT.

Several of the programmes held at Belladrum Secondary School in Eldorado Village, West Coast Berbice, included Furniture Making, Garment Construction, Commercial Food Preparation, Agro Processing, and Information Technology.
Seven persons were trained in Furniture Making, 12 in Garment Construction and Commercial Food Preparation, 10 in Agro Processing, and eight in Information Technology. Each participant gained the necessary knowledge and skills in their various programs to become employable.