Jan 24, 2023 News
By Zena Henry
Kaieteur News – The 2023 Budget debates kicked off yesterday with first Government Minister, Joseph Hamilton, providing some statistics on how Guyana is fairing as it seeks to build capacity required for the growing Guyanese economy.
Hamilton told the Guyana Parliament that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government is now playing “catch up” with the oil sector as the former A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition Government failed to prepare the country to serve the oil economy.
To prove his point, Hamilton reported that the average amount of persons trained under the last Government via the Board of Industrial Training was between 1300 to 1500 persons and no where within that number was an attempt made to include hinterland and rIvering areas. The Minister said that the PPP Government came into office in August of 2020 and by the end of that year, they would have trained 2000 persons. The Minister continued that in 2021, the Government trained 3,086 persons and in 2022, 4500 persons. He communicated that between 2020 to now, the Government trained 7,500 persons under the Board of Industrial Training and the 2023 budget provides for the Government to train an additional 7000 persons.
Hamilton said that the important apprenticeship programmes which were dead under the previous Government – the PPP administration was able to place 173 apprentices in 2022 with 151 persons trained at the Guyana Sugar Corporation Training Centre under the Board of Industrial Training. At BOSAI, he said that 17 persons were trained as apprentices. He summarised therefore, that “in two and half years, The Board of Industrial Training trained 7500 persons via the programmes we executed, and secondly we made available 173 persons to be trained in apprentices in three different companies.”
The Labour Minister noted that coming out of training, the candidates are tracked and thus far, the Government has been able to successfully track from the 2021 trainees, 715 beneficiaries. “I can report Mr. Speaker that 75.1 percent of those persons trained is gainfully employed,” the minister said. He added that four percent of those trained however continue to study. The apprenticeship programme, Minister Hamilton, reported is being expanded as other companies are being engaged including those in the oil and gas sector. “We have signed several Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with companies, we are about to sign an MOU with the aeronautic school in Ogle” Hamilton said that another MOU was just signed with the Ministry of Public Works’ electrical inspectorate to ensure all citizens trained in this area are certified.
He said the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency (CRMA) has moved from serving just walk-ins to having a job bank. He said that as of March of 2022, a job bank was formed to make it easier for people to seek employment. Some 3300 jobs were sought and 239 employers were registered. About 837 applicants were walk-ins and 146 persons were placed in employment areas.
The Ministry’s Occupational Safety and Health Department recorded 32 deaths in 2020, but based on programs and policies, the Minister said that number decreased by 16 percent, and in 2022, by 20 percent. “So in two years, we are moving from a place where in 2020, 32 persons lost their lives in the work place and we have moved in 2022 that has decreased to 21.”
As it related to Co-operatives, the Minister said that his Ministry’s Cooperative Department will be conducting integrity audits this year and some will have to dissolve or resolve. The Minister further reported that some Co-opts have tens and thousands of land unproductive and when checks are made; it is not being controlled by the entities. Hamilton continued by saying that the Guyana Lands and Survey Department, the Forestry Department and other revenant agencies will be asked to provide the information on these Co-opts.
Hamilton told Parliament that in 2022, 913 complaints from walk- in employees were made to the Ministry which resolved about 85 percent of complaints and recovered some $40M from employers on behalf of the employees. He said under that last Government employers and unions refused to sit but this has been done under the PPP with the Labour Ministry counter-signing 23 collective labour agreements and 13 consolidations. The Minister said that two studies by the International Labour Organisation and a local Consultant was prepared highlighting the deficient of technical capacity to service the oil and gas industry. It was noted that Guyana would not be in a dismal place if the last Government had did work in building the labour capacity. “So, we have to play catch up now because they (former Government) did nothing to deal with the matter.” It should be highlighted that the Labour Minister did not speak to Collective Bargaining by the Government in determining increases for state workers. This matter remains priority for many Labour Unions who call on the Government to observe their right to collective bargaining.
Pres. Ali begging for loans!!
Feb 04, 2023SportsMax – After nearly two weeks of preparation in Bulawayo, West Indies interim head coach is eagerly awaiting the first ball of the series this morning. According to Andre Coley, the...
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America and the Organization... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]