After months of hard work and dedication, 29 Guyanese have successfully completed a heavy-duty equipment training programme that is led by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT). Executing the programme was one of its longstanding partners, the Kuru Kuru Training Centre.
Delivering remarks at the event was BIT’s Chairman, Mr. Clinton Williams. He said that the Ministry of the Presidency’s Youth Empowerment Unit collaborated with the Board in the execution of the special purpose three month Training Programme for Heavy Equipment Operators drawn. Williams said that there were six participating Administrative Regions for the project.
The BIT Chairman said that the programme has its genesis in 2013 when BIT was first requested by the Guyana Sugar Corporation Limited to address their emerging crucial attrition needs, resulting from the exodus of their operators to the lucrative Gold Mining Sector. Since then, Williams said that the programme gained traction and quickly assumed the status of the premier skill development activity among the other skill sets BIT conducts within its National Training Programme for Youth Empowerment (NTYPE) Project.
The BIT Chairman said, too, that during 2014 to 2017; 758 persons (youths) were trained, all of whom are now fully employed.
He said, “We plan to train 300 in 2018 and 400 next year. Among the 2017 initiative, a programme for Mahdia was executed for which 30 youths were trained. A programme for Region Nine was also executed where 35 trainees were trained and certified. The graduation for these Trainees took place on August 29, 2018 at Lethem. Additionally, 40 youths from Lethem and surrounding villages will commence training during the first week of September.”
“We are pleased to report also that the skill development intervention utilizes the Competency Based Education Training methodology, which simply means training by doing. As a consequence, the programme has had a positive impact in minimizing the historical stigma associated with Technical Vocational Education in that the empowerment phenomenon has been a pull factor in ensuring that vulnerable groups such as school dropouts and youths from disadvantaged communities have been in the forefront seeking training opportunities.”
Additionally, Williams said it has also provided for high paying jobs to critical sectors of the economy such as Public Infrastructure (Roads, Bridges, Drainage and Irrigation), Mining and Quarrying, Forestry, Agriculture, Housing, etc while at the same time positively impacting on crime prevention and poverty alleviation in terms of tangible socio-economic interventions.
As regards synergies and inter agency linkages, Williams said that BIT is more than happy to report that the Regulatory and Security Agencies are significant beneficiaries of this intervention. He said that BIT has been conducting parallel training programmes for the Guyana Police Force in order to build capacity in its ability to provide certification and licensing of the trainees in the operation and use of Heavy Equipment.
The BIT Chairman said that this translates to proficiencies and relevant competencies of the officers in the Guyana Police Force to perform the role of competent assessors and verifiers in assessment and certification process not only in the operation of the equipment, but also in respect of critical essentials with respect to condition base and preventative maintenance for the plant and equipment they are being certified to operate.
For the Guyana Police Force, Williams said that between 2015 and 2016, 72 Officers were trained in Region Four as Assessors, and 10 in Region 7. Additionally, during 2017 to 2018, Williams said that 45 officers from Region 6 were trained in the use of Heavy Equipment and 13 are presently in training.
Further to this, Williams said it is the intention of the Board of Industrial Training to continue to pursue innovative interventions based on the current (CBET) methodology to intensify both the range and quantity of skill sets for the following sectors as identified by the current administration as potential drivers for the economy in the short to medium term. He said that these include: Agro Processing Value Added Industries inclusive of Plant and Equipment Operation and Maintenance; Timber and Wood Products Added Value Industries; Information and Communication Technology; Clean Energy; Oil and Gas; Tourism and Hospitality and Maritime Transportation and Logistics.
In closing, Williams thanked the trainees for successfully completing the programme. He told them, “It is my fervent wish that you will utilize this glorious opportunity by displaying these exposures towards your own development as well as the development of Guyana and in the end, make us all proud.”
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