Gov’t to assess local labour needs amid questions of employment plan

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As Guyana undergoes economic development, new skills will be required and the Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag says that the government is now moving to understand what those skills are and how Guyanese can be trained to ably provide those.

During the Budget Debates on Tuesday, the Public Service Minister said that a National Human Capacity Needs Assessment will be conducted with the $3.3 billion allocation made to her ministry in the 2022 National Budget.

This assessment is being engaged in to guarantee that local labour market needs are met; specific mention was made of human resource management and facilities management with the development of Guyana’s infrastructure plan.

The assessment will be done in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Labour, along with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and members of the Private Sector.

And this announcement comes as the government continues to roll out and budget for its online scholarship programme- the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL).

“We are not going to have our people wastefully enroll in programmes that will serve them no purpose in the next 10 to 15 years.

“As a country, we must be able to foresee the skills that will be needed in the years to come and begin nurturing those skills from now,” Parag said.

She also highlighted that the ministry’s training division will roll out programmes to train public servants in ethics and other soft programmes. Notably, she said this can be extended to members of the public- where all people can benefit from the corporate training package that contains up to 200 programmes.

Her statements were made just after Opposition parliamentarian Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, who served as the Public Service Minister previously, raised concerns about the lack of a “serious employment plan” in Guyana.

“Scholarships are good but if not properly planned, we will have a myriad of persons who have certificates but cannot find jobs,” Sarabo-Halley reasoned.

The Opposition Parliamentarian also raised concerns about the rising cost of goods and asked for salary increases for public servants.

But Parag noted that the government is not only concerned with providing salary increases but also with allowing Guyanese to develop themselves.

As such, she pointed out that through the GOAL programme alone, many Guyanese can learn and gain requisite skills and qualifications. She also knocked concerns that there was any discrimination in the distribution of those scholarships.

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