The Board of Industrial Training (BIT) Friday celebrated its 100th year of existence at a ceremony at the Umana Yana, Kingston.
Held under the theme “A century of Empowering Youths with Technical and Vocational skills for life”, the ceremony featured presentation of awards to long serving masters and staff. Among the companies to receive awards were Guyana National Industrial Corporation, the Guyana Sugar Corporation, Guyana Power and Light, and Transport and Harbours Department.
Minister of Labour, Manzoor Nadir, speaking at the event, expressed congratulations on behalf of President Bharrat Jagdeo and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds.
Minister Nadir stated that the Board has come a long way in empowering youths and added that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will also come on board to provide training to young people.
Chairman of the BIT, Dr. Dale Bisnauth, stating that the anniversary is a milestone of life and history, reflected on the past. He noted that the Board could not have achieved so much without the contributions of the persons who served over the years.
Among those receiving long serving awards were Roderick Nurse, Technical Coordinator of BIT; and Jacqueline Clarke. BIT’s Chairman, Dr Dale Bisnauth, was also honoured.
The Board of Industrial Training (BIT) was established in 1910 under the Industrial Training Act Chapter 39:04, Laws of Guyana.
At the time of its promulgation, the Industrial Training Act was described thus: “An Act to provide for the promotion of Industrial Training”. As such, the focus of BIT was formal Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as it relates to apprenticeship within the industrial sector.
These apprenticeship programmes are of four-year duration, with provision made for shortened two-year programmes in special cases where the applicant would have had previous technical training.
Training is offered in various engineering fields, such as mechanical, electrical and building construction, with funding sometimes provided through collaboration with the private sector and Non Governmental Agencies.
They also aim to ensure that the nation is provided with an adequately trained workforce in both industrial and commercial sectors of the economy.
One such programme currently under execution through funding by the Government of Guyana, and which receives the co-operation of the public and the private sectors, is the National Training Programme for Youth Empowerment (NTPYE) which commenced in September, 2005, and which has benefitted over 2200 youths to date. They have been trained and certified at the semi-skilled level through this project.
Thus far for this year, 509 youths were trained under the NTPYE, 185 from Regions One and Two; 132 from the Essequibo Islands, Region Three; 90 from Region Four; and 102 from Region Five.
NTPYE was the vision of President Bharrat Jagdeo and was launched as part of the administration’s policy to reduce the level of unemployment and better the living standards of citizens. Youths from 15 to 25 years from the 10 administrative regions have benefited from training, and through the Ministry of Labour’s Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency, they have acquired jobs.
BIT expanded its role in 2009 through training programmes for single parents, aimed at providing marketable skills as a means creating or increasing income generation.
A total of 375 persons have been trained under the single parent programme in employable skills that are in demand on the labour market.
Many graduates have received a grant to assist in the establishment of small businesses. (GINA)