- BIT graduates 826 in regions 5&6.
|Neighboring regions, Mahaica Berbice and East Berbice-Corentyne over the years carried the stigma of skills and jobs shortages and saw significant brain drain. A large percentage of residents also ventured to relocate to region four in search of academic enhancement and technical and vocational skills training to secure a good paying job.
However, this practice has declined significantly in 2020, when the present administration took office, promoting its manifesto plans regarding delivering quality education for all, especially Guyanese acquiring technical skills wherever they reside. One agency under the Government body that supports its mandate is the Board of Industrial Training through its extensive list of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes.
The Board of Industrial Training between 2020-2022 climbed the ladder with its delivery of skills training, not just in region 4 but other regions, namely, 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9 and 10. Recently, graduations commenced on November 21st to 23rd, 2022, certifying residents of regions five and six in courses such as, Care for the Elderly, Agro-Processing and Marketing, Pre/Play School Management and Customer Care Service, Hospitality and Tour Guide, Electrical Installation-Level One, Welding and Fabrication, Motor Vehicle Servicing and Repairs, Refrigeration, Supervisory Management, Heavy-Duty Equipment Operation, AC Repairs and Refrigeration, Cosmetology, Information Technology, Auto Electrician, Computer Repairs and Maintenance, Commercial Food Preparation, General Building Construction, Arts and Fabric Designs and Garment Construction.
Stretched across the two regions the programmes were made accessible for residents at several training centres and government institutions which are often utilized to carry out the programmes, such facilities are the GuySuco Training Centre and St. Francis Community Developers. Last week, a total of eight hundred and twenty-six (826) persons received certificates after completing the courses offered, this comprised of 120 persons from region five and 706 from region 6.
Many have asked the question how beneficial the courses are and what will become of them after completing same but with every prospective beneficiary engaged by technical officers of BIT, each programme benefits would be highlighted to either prepare graduates for entrepreneurship or secure jobs in the industrial, agriculture, tourism, information technology, or the lucrative oil and gas industry.
Let’s turn our focus to one of BIT’s positive courses, wielding and fabrication, and its massive contribution, regarding skilled persons within petroleum sector. The programne which is extensively taught has three phases, life skill training, theoretical and practical sessions.
The welding programmes even had become a pressing topic for His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who saw the programme as a critical skill in oil and gas operations both for the construction of new projects and for the maintenance of highly complex infrastructure, such as rigs, pipelines, platforms, plants, and facilities.
Thus far in 2022, for regions 5 and 6, the Board of Industrial Training engaged ninety (90) beneficiaries, comprised of 85 males and 4 females, young and old who successfully completed the welding and fabrication course. Many of these individuals, were either without experience or worked in the field for years without any form of certification but were given the opportunity freely to become an addition to filling the skills gap in Guyana.
The Board of Industrial Training beneficiaries would often tell their story for the world to hear, through testimonials and the built-up momentum of graduates would be witnessed by BIT’s officials after their dedication, sacrifice, prioritization and finally certification of their pursued programme.
At the recent graduation held at Hurricane Harbour, Region Five, one of the graduates, Ms. Diana Joseph could not hold back her words after receiving the much-needed motivation throughout the course. The woman who is living with Cerebral Palsy said she pushed through all odds to receive her certificate in Commercial Food Preparation. This was possible through meaningful one on one session and a conducive training area for her to excel. Ms. Joseph explained to BIT’s officials she lives by the mantra, not to give up, no matter the circumstances.
Another graduate, Mr. Shameez Noheed, before completing the programmes, initially aimed to make a career out of the Welding and Fabrication skills training he received at the Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre in Region Six. The young man told BIT’s reps on his graduation day his game plan is to add welding and fabrication to his already teaching profession. After BIT’s reps heard this, he was asked to go a little more in depth about his passion for teaching and this is what he had to say.
“When I first heard about BIT, I was still searching for my life’s path, so I thought registering for a course would make me feel good regarding doing something good and a few years back I was trained at the Upper Corentyne Industrial Centre in Air Conditioning Repairs and Refrigeration, I made sure to do well in that training and that mindset landed me into a job as a tutor at the same institution. So, today I am here once again adding to my experience in the world of skills training but this time in welding and fabrication and this programme will also be added to my resume as tutor.” Mr. Noheed happily stated.
These types of testimonies are the meaning behind the efforts made by the Hon. Joseph Hamilton, Minister of Labour to push all services of the ministry, especially the Board of Industrial Training for the people of Guyana, whether young or old, living with disabilities, a single parent or those who are earning but are in need to learn a skill to add to their economic growth.
(Board of Industrial Training, Public Relations Department).