notes people need to rekindle their understanding of work
NUMEROUS persons in Guyana are opting for temporary employment despite multiple long-term job openings here. This is due to the fact that people no longer place much value on work; thus, it is crucial to rekindle their understanding of these ideas.
This was according to President Dr. Irfaan Ali while delivering his address at the Twelfth Subregional ILO Meeting of Caribbean Labour Ministers opening at the Guyana Marriot Hotel on Tuesday.
“Social justice is not about creating the framework for existing workers alone. It is about how globally we are intaking collective responsibility for the workforce now and in the future,” the President said, adding that climate financing, concessional financing, grants and even food security are facing significant hits.
Moreover, President Ali then asked the dignitaries how the Caribbean community could combat these challenges. He stated: “Many of them [the citizens] prefer to be temporary workers because we have built a culture in the region that needs to change.”
He said, “Recruiters and I can give you their experience here in Guyana. If you drive around, you will see vacancies everywhere for people by construction companies. Every day we have projects held up because they cannot find people. Government implementation is affected, private sector delivery is affected…”
Stressing that the labour framework within the Caribbean region needs to be changed, the President said that Guyana has already taken steps to make this happen. He voiced that the Government of Guyana is working towards making tertiary education free, expanding the technical vocational education training and building an international hospitality centre training institute.
He said, “We [the Government of Guyana] are now providing the facilities and the technology for all our teachers to become trained teachers in the next three years. Every single teacher in Guyana will be a trained teacher. Tremendous investment, but necessary investment. We are building a framework of benefits and salary that allow us to retain our workers.”
He then went on to remark: “As the world faces its own labour challenge, we in the Caribbean find ourselves in a position that we are investing for those who can pay higher,” adding that the Caribbean, as a result of the pandemic, has now become a “recruitment ground,” even though many of the nations invest their public resources to train their citizens.
“I see every single day special migration programmes and policies developed to target the highly skilled workers of our region. We cannot afford the type of salaries that will keep them,” he disclosed.
The President then posed the question of how social justice interplays with all of this, to which he told the audience: “Social justice is not only about the country’s responsibility, it’s about the world’s responsibility. It’s about the responsibility of the citizens to themselves.”