Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, and Chief Executive Officer of Machinery Corporation of Guyana Limited (MACORP), Guillermo Escarraga, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate free online training for persons interested in becoming certified with technical skills for the repair and maintenance of heavy machinery.
Under their Caterpillar “Technicians for the Caribbean” programme, MACORP has teamed up with the Ministry to provide support where access to computer systems and the internet is concerned.
At a simple signing ceremony, Minister Hughes expressed profound gratitude to MACORP for providing an opportunity that has life-changing potential for any individual who chooses to participate in the training programme. She said that Government is committed to making maximum use of technology to provide education and skills training opportunities to all young persons in Guyana.
The 157 internet hubs spread across the country provide the locations for citizens, especially young men, to start the programme of certified training in operations, repair and maintenance of heavy duty machines.
The MACORP programme can after one year provide employment and work study opportunities to participants who perform to high standards. The Ministry has been pushing for increased use of the internet, especially for educational purposes.
Minister Hughes said that her Ministry without hesitation threw its support behind the MACORP initiative.
“We have made an important match between online learning, using technology to enhance educational opportunities, and in turn, propelling the value of an individual and their skills. Being able to offer the online training programme on a group and community basis with the support and guidance of MACORP will begin a transformation in terms of training and development in the technical area.”
The Minister noted that under the MACORP programme, the individual will be able to access a series of online training modules and commence their studies at their own pace with the guidance and support of MACORP. The service technician course may last from three to six months or longer and successful participants will receive MACORP certification which is internationally recognised.
CEO Escarraga said that the machine and equipment company, Caterpillar ,had commenced the service technician course on the African continent some years ago, but also saw an opportunity to launch the programme within the Caribbean. He said dealers were invited to be a part of the programme and MACORP quickly supported the initiative, given its educational value.
“We are happy to see that we are partnering with several stakeholders to make sure that people have the opportunity to take the programme and actually get the certificate. At the end of the programme, people will get the certificate that is valid not only in Guyana but throughout the world.”
Mr. Escarraga said the program has eight modules, and persons will be exposed to many aspects of technical and safety principles among others. Successful individuals will also have an opportunity to be part of MACORP’s intern programme and later, the possibility of full employment with the agency.
MACORP’s programme through the network of ICT hubs and internet connected locations will be able to reach far-flung communities that previously had no internet connection and public computer systems.
The company’s Training Director, Miguel Oviedo, said MACORP’s technician programme is a testament to the company’s slogan of “Building Guyana together.” He spoke of the Company’s goals and commitment to assisting in the overall development of the country through the availability of such educational programmes that can have positive impacts on access to employment.
Persons interested in participating in the free service technician course can visit MACORP and the Ministry of Public Telecommunication’s websites for more information.
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