By Navendra Seoraj
STRENGTHENING the capacity of the local labour market remains critical as work progresses in Guyana’s burgeoning Oil and Gas (O&G) sector, and so the government, in recognising this, plans to afford Guyanese the opportunity to access technical training through scholarships to a German institute.
Several international stakeholders, after recognising that Guyana’s institutional capacity to manage and oversee the oil and gas sector is limited, have encouraged the government to enhance its capacity in order to properly inherit the potential direct and indirect opportunities.
A solution to this shortfall will be to train Guyanese to participate and be gainfully employed in the sector.
“We have to train more people,” Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo said during the opening day of a one-month stakeholder engagement on local content, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, on Monday.
Instead of hiring expatriates, there are plans to afford Guyanese the opportunity to access technical training and be equipped to service the sector. A sum of G$1 billion is budgeted this year to support online scholarships to be granted in 2021.
“In 2021, we plan to begin execution of this initiative, catering for the provision of over 4,500 scholarships, through a multi-agency formulation including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Labour,” Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said while presenting Budget 2021 to the National Assembly, last Friday.
Vice-President Jagdeo said a significant amount of those scholarships will be administered through a German institute, which offers technical training.
Scholarships aside, the government is also planning to establish a world-class petroleum institute and training centre in Guyana. It has since been confirmed that discussions on the establishment of this facility are progressing.
“It [the institute] will not only provide training for Guyanese, but for human resource in the oil and gas sector across the region,” President Dr. Irfaan Ali, had said during his address at the 25th annual award ceremony of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA).
Guyanese-owned company, TOTALTEC Oilfield Services, has announced too that it will be injecting US$2.4 million (over G$516 million) into its International Petroleum and Maritime Academy (IPMA) to improve its capacity, amidst Guyana’s growing oil-and-gas sector.
TOTALTEC’s IPMA focuses on training Guyanese and teaching skillsets to the candidates so they can develop careers in Guyana’s growing oil-and-gas sector. Since its establishment two years ago, IPMA has screened over 3,000 applicants, trained over 500 persons and placed over 300 Guyanese in jobs within the petroleum sector.