Jul 18, 2013 News
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Paul Bhim, called on apprentices yesterday at the Port Mourant Training School’s 52nd Annual Graduation Exercise to put into effective use all that they have learnt even as they formally enter an industry which “is going through troubling times.”
Fifty-seven young men commenced training at the facility in 2009 and graduated yesterday as professional Fitter Machinists, Agricultural Mechanics, Electricians, Auto Electricians, Instrument Repair Mechanics and Sugar Boilers.
Bhim admitted that some of the negative publicity in the media about the sugar company is valid and explained how this can and must be changed.
“I am sure most of you are aware of the negative publicity that the Corporation has been receiving in recent times whether in the print media or television…I must add some of the negativity is quite valid as we have underperformed in some areas.”
The CEO explained that there is only one way for the negative publicity to cease and for the company to return to its rightful place of being a major contributor to the country’s economy and that “hard work, commitment and being innovative is required by all, be it management, workers and the graduands.
“In the field, mechanization of field operations be it fertilizing, application of LGRP, weed control and harvesting is upon us due to the dwindling labour supply. Additionally, state of the art machinery such as mechanized harvesters, prime movers and the packaging plant equipment are all being used in the industry.”
Bhim said that factories, too, are undergoing changes. “This is not only at Skeldon but also the other factories where there will be significant investment in the coming years to ensure we can produce every last grain of sugar.”
Like all successful industries, he said, GuySuCo must be innovative to confront these challenges. He said that the industry will continue to invest in the training school “even in these trying financial times, as it has a rich legacy and an immaculate history and is one of the best of its kind in the entire Caribbean.”
The official stated that the 2013 budget had an operating expense for the GuySuCo Training School at about $175M.
“Additionally, $80M is earmarked for capital expenditure in 2013 to improve infrastructure.”
The immediate plan, he said, is to increase enrolment “as recent intakes have been a little more than half of the institution’s capacity but let me say that the Corporation would not compromise on any decline in discipline, which has been the hallmark of this institution.”
Dr. Nanda Kishore Gopaul, Minister of Labour, delivered the Feature Address in Minister Ramsammy’s absence.
Special Prizes were awarded to top performers:
Best Performance in Fitting Machining Section- Mahesh Balwant (Wales)
Best Performance in Electrical & Instrument Section- Esmond Anderson (Rose Hall)
Best Performance in Agricultural Mechanic & Auto Section- Bhaskar Seeram (Blairmont)
Best Overall Performance in Instrument Repair Mechanic Section- Mark Fernandes (Albion)
Best Overall Performance by First Year Apprentice Group ‘A’- Aroon Bhagwandin (Albion)
Best Overall Performance by First Year Apprentice Group ‘B’- Vejay Persaud (Uitvlugt)
Best Overall Performance by First Year Apprentice Group ‘C’- Charwayne Holmes (Uitvlugt)
Best Kept Log Book 1ST Year Apprentice- Charwayne Holmes (Uitvlugt)
Best Kept Log Book 2nd Year Apprentice- Timothy Thomas- (Blairmont)
Alumni Award Canada- Timothy Thomas (Blairmont)
Best Overall 1ST Year Apprentice- Aroon Bhagwandin (Albion)
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