‘WIN’ initiative to offer skills training to women countrywide

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Women across the country will soon have access to cost-free skills training programmes, through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Women’s Innovation Network (WIN) programme, to be launched this week.

The initiative will provide guidance to women on how to achieve independence.

Minister Dr. Vindhya Persaud said the programme will be taken to communities in every region, with Baramita, Region One being the first to benefit. Women will have access to conventional and unconventional training.

“So, whether persons are interested in garment construction, or they are interested in ICT, or they are interested in graphic design, video editing, interior design, interior decoration, we are moving to cater for what is happening in our country, what will open up, and so people are being equipped with the skills to make a good living,” Minister Persaud explained.

Participants will have access to functional and business literacy, business management and micro-enterprise training. They will also be exposed to areas of social ills, legislation, anger management and emotional intelligence.

The women will also be provided with ‘start-ups’ to launch their own businesses and receive guidance on how to access grants and loans at the various financial institutions, including the Small Business Bureau (SBB).

“They can choose to be employed because all of these will be certificate programmes or they can choose to be their own bosses. We are also going to equip women with start-ups, not necessarily financial start-ups, but let’s say we are training them to sew, we will work to give them a sewing machine to start their business and a few other things whether its fabric and whatever they need,” Minister Persaud said.

The WIN programme emanated from the Garment and Accessories Cottage Industry initiative, which was launched in October last year, benefitting some 100 women. The pilot project employed several women to sew masks for government entities.

The programme also follows the ‘WE LIFT- Women Entrepreneurs: Leading, Innovating, Flourishing Together,” which was held in March, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, in observance of International Women’s Day. That event attracted some 75 women-centric businesses.

The WIN training programme will be facilitated through the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute (GWLI), for which $20 million will be spent to rehabilitate and expand that institute to include a modern kitchen and computer laboratory. However, while training will be held at GWLI, training programmes will also be rolled out in communities across the country.

Minister Persaud noted that the training is inclusive, and will be accessible to all women, regardless of their background or location.

This year, $29.5 billion was allocated to the Ministry to execute its mandate of providing services to the country’s most vulnerable groups including women and children, the elderly, youth and persons living with disabilities. Of that amount, $80 million has been directed towards training programmes for women. (DPI)

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