By Cassandra Khan
THE Ministry of Labour’s Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency (CRMA), on Wednesday at the Roraima Duke Lodge, held its annual award ceremony for organisations that help make employment opportunities available for the public.
Giving the feature address at the ceremony, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, said that schooling and learning in Guyana needs to be reassessed.
He noted that the education system is geared towards celebrating only persons who have excelled in academics.
Minister Hamilton said that young people entering the workface should set aside conversations about ‘clean’ jobs and ‘dirty’ jobs.
He also said that there should be more praise for those excelling in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).
Turning his attention to women’s participation in the labour force, Minister Hamilton said women should not be excluded from any profession.
He said that as of 2012, 51 per cent of Guyana’s population was women. He said that provisions must be put in place to ensure that the majority of the population participates in some type of trade skill.
Jairam Petam, Chairman of the Consultative Association of Guyanese Industry (CAGI), said that Guyana is experiencing an expansion not only in the oil and gas sector but an incremental increase in the manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and forestry.
With that expansion, he noted, the required skills may not all be present.
Citing statistics from the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), Petam said that out of Guyana’s current population, 40 per cent make up the labour force. He noted that 60 per cent of the population are either students or retirees.
He explained that out of the 40 per cent, there are about 60,000 discouraged employees, which are persons who gave up on seeking employment.
“We as employers should ensure that we sustain a stable workforce… [and] look at how to create an environment that satisfies our existing workforce,” he said.
He said that the government’s recruitment agency can help to build technical skills and make persons employable, but employers must ensure that staff are taken care of.
The 25 organisations which collected awards were Atlas Security Service, Bettencourt Homestyle, Carnegie School of Home Economics, DeSinco Trading, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), Dr. Balwant Singh Hospital, Edward B. Beharry Group of Companies, Food for the Poor Inc., Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), Guyana National Bureau of Standard (GNBS), Guyana National Newspapers Limited (GNNL – Guyana Chronicle), Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), GUYBISCO International Inc., MK Cleaning & Janitorial Service, R & M Bhaichandeen, Resh Gift Centre & Variety Store, Sterling Products Limited, Summerson Furniture Store, Toolsie Persaud Limited, Unicomer (Courts Guyana), Volunteer Youth Corps (VYC), WB Cleaning and Janitorial Services, Wieting and Richter, and Wings Aviation. One individual, Neberth Fordyce, was also named as an awardee.