IN what can be described as historic, First Lady Arya Ali, has secured 100 scholarships for Indigenous women in the hinterland to be trained in the maritime and offshore industry through a local maritime training school.
Atlantic Alliance (AA) Maritime & Offshore Training School is a 100 per cent Guyanese owned company which the First Lady had been in talks with ahead of the recently-concluded International Energy Conference and Expo.
The 100 scholarships will be awarded through the Office of the First Lady over a four year period and will benefit Indigenous women from Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight and Nine. It is intended to provide technical training to support Guyana’s rapidly expanding oil and gas sector.
On Thursday last, Mrs Ali cemented the historic deal by signing an agreement with Mrs Miranda Thakur-Deen and Asif Hamid, Executive Directors of the School, in the presence of a number of other stakeholders including the Centre for Local Business Development and Lloyd’s Register.
This agreement follows plans by the government, which has been moving aggressively, to equip Guyanese to benefit from the opportunities being made available in the oil and gas sector.
“We are talking about one Guyana and this is a demonstration of us, the government, creating that one Guyana that we speak of. We are aware of the many issues that affect the Indigenous People of Guyana, including access to tertiary education and tertiary level training. So this is a major step towards creating opportunities for them in the oil and gas sector and ensuring that they are part of the success story of our country,” Mrs Ali said.
She also lauded the school’s commitment to ensuring that it gives back to the people of Guyana.
“I am beyond happy to share this moment with a local company because it not only highlights the importance of local content, but it shows in a tangible way how committed this company is to giving back to our people,” she added.
Mrs Thakur-Deen said the decision to partner with the Office of the First Lady was an easy one for the school’s board because of the work Mrs Ali has been involved in.
“We noticed the First Lady is a leading advocate for women and has been championing women’s rights since she took office. Her period poverty project shows her commitment to women and advancing their rights, and we wanted to be able to support the work that she is doing,” ThakurDeen said.
The Maritime Institution will provide unique training programmes which focus on teaching practical skills to both local and international students through a blended approach. The School’s courses are accredited by Guyana’s Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ).
It is currently awaiting accreditation from the National Accreditation Council of Guyana, while plans are underway for it to become a TVET Certified Institution.
“Our mission is to prepare and provide competent, top quality and experienced marine professionals. Our curriculum empowers students to take on leadership roles, encourage rigorous self-discipline, promote curiosity and provide graduates with skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the Global Maritime & Offshore Industry,” the School’s other Executive Director, Mr Hamid noted.
AA Maritime & Offshore Training School currently has lecturers that are internationally certified industry experts with backgrounds in the oil and gas industry.
The institution comprises 20 classrooms with digital and in-house libraries, augmented reality simulators and technical workshop facilities. It also intends to begin issuing certification for TVET welding and fabrication courses which will be certified by the American Welding Society (AWS). (Office of the First Lady press release)