With 50,000 workers needed, UG pitches itself to help fill the gap
The University of Guyana (UG) estimates that the local workforce may need thousands of workers over the next few years and it has positioned itself to help meet that growing need.
This is according to the university’s Vice Chancellor Professor Paloma Mohamed, who spoke during the Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit & Exhibition (GIPEX) on Tuesday.
“The workforce, both energy and non-energy, assessed by UG looking at the data before us seemed to suggest that we need to quadruple our workforce in the next five years.
“So pretty much, we need to add between 30,000 and 50,000 people [annually] within the next five years,” Professor Mohamed said during the first day of the virtual forum.
With this apparent need, the Vice Chancellor stated that rapid upskilling, the expansion of offerings and the “equitable strengthening” of the local education system are crucial. And she believes UG can help meet many of the educational needs.
“UG has been responding to the gaps that we noticed,” the Vice Chancellor stated.
The university has a capacity three times larger than all of the other offshore universities in Guyana, she noted. It also offers 136 undergraduate programmes and 23 graduate postgraduate programmes.
Furthermore, she noted that the university has been expanding its courses to cater for growing needs in Guyana. For example, to provide skills training for Guyana’s new energy sector specifically, she said that the Institute for Energy Diplomacy has been set up.
The Vice Chancellor also detailed the raft of programmes in key sectors- from the Environmental Sciences to Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation studies- that have been introduced to help upskill Guyanese.
But as the university seeks to continue bridging various skills gaps, Professor Mohamed also noted that it is open to new or further partnerships.
Previously, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud stated that 100,000 additional workers are needed over the next several years to meet the country’s ongoing transformation. And he too touted the need for more Guyanese to benefit from rapid upskilling. Persaud has also been engaging members of the diaspora, seeking to attract them back to Guyana.