THE Ministry of Labour, through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), has successfully trained over 3,500 young people in various skills within the last 10 months, surpassing its initial target of 3,000.
This is according to subject minister, Joseph Hamilton, who told Guyana Chronicle during a recent telephone interview that graduation exercises are currently being held across the country.
He anticipates that by the end of November, those who have successfully completed training in skills ranging from engineering to home economics have graduated.
“Based on the financing we got via [the] budget, we determined we can train about 3,000…some of the programmes have been finished and you would have noted that I have been doing graduations,” the minister said.
Minister Hamilton stated that graduation ceremonies will be held in small regional gatherings to maintain the mandatory COVID-19 protocols. So far, graduation exercises have been completed in four of the 10 administrative regions.
“We have already concluded graduation ceremonies in Regions One, Two, Three, Six [and] presently we are doing Region Four.”
He told this publication that several training programmes are currently ongoing, some of which are expected to be completed next year.
“While I speak, trainings are still going on and we might have some trainings that will roll over to 2022,” he said.
The minister also disclosed that over 420 persons from hinterland regions across the country will also be graduating from several of the training programmes.
Meanwhile, BIT’s CEO, Richard Maughn, posited that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, BIT has managed to successfully execute training and provide apprenticeship programmes for several graduates to gain meaningful employment in their respective communities.
“Although we have COVID, we still had an excess of people benefitting from trainings so far for the year and we continue to have persons registering and showing interest,” he said adding:
“Despite the pandemic, persons would have completed the training and found employment.”
BIT also provides apprenticeship training in accordance with the Industrial Act and issues certificates of competency to persons who are qualified to be engaged in any trade or craft, to which the act applies.
Persons ages 15 years and above can register to do any of the courses which range from four to six months duration and are available in all the regions.
Persons can access programmes in building, engineering, forestry, home economics and clerical/information technology.