Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh is encouraging companies to invest in accommodation options or transportation services to attract much-needed workers amid the growing labour shortage issue.
The Finance Minister spoke at a forum hosted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown, where stakeholders gathered to hammer out possible solutions to local labour shortages.
He agreed that there are labour challenges but he thinks there are more people across the country who can join the workforce if employers can be more facilitating.
For instance, Dr. Singh said companies can explore introducing shuttle services so that workers living some distance away can be easily transported to and from their workplace. If not, he said travelling far distances may be a deterrent for people seeking employment.
Additionally, the Finance Minister said companies that may want workers to relocate should also think about providing accommodation options.
“I know companies today that are building or renting accommodation because they are recruiting people from out of town,” he said.
Providing daycare services is also an option the Finance Minister believes companies can explore if they want to attract more workers.
But the Finance Minister believes that a cultural shift is needed too. That is, workers must be willing to undergo training and possibly, move to various parts of the country for employment.
If that is done, he believes more people will fill existing gaps. As stakeholders deliberate on what can be done to solve the issue, the government is offering training opportunities so that Guyanese can eventually take up all of these jobs.
These shortages are unfolding as Guyana, over the past few years, has experienced substantial economic growth linked to an expanding oil and gas sector. The growth in that sector is contributing to the development of other productive sectors.
Over the past year, local authorities and the private sector have been looking for ways to remedy the situation.