Several sectors are becoming increasingly hard-hit by labour shortages and Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill said at least one company, the India-based Ashoka Buildcon, has been forced to import drivers to advance their work.
Edghill spoke at a forum on Guyana’s labour situation held on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference at Liliendaal, Georgetown.
He explained that the number of big, infrastructural projects ongoing across the country means that a larger number of workers are in high demand. However, some companies encountered difficulties finding much-needed workers.
Ashoka Buildcon, the company constructing the Ogle to Eccles road way, is one company that found it difficult getting workers, Edghill said.
“We were left with no choice but to grant work permits for the contractor building the Ogle to Eccles road to bring in drivers.
“An elementary job like drivers,” the Public Works Minister disclosed.
But the construction sector is not the only field where labour shortages are increasingly becoming a bugbear. Edghill emphasised that there is a “growing demand” for labour in most sectors because of the economic development ongoing across Guyana.
In the oil and gas sector, for example, he said there is a need for numerous certified welders; in the hospitality sector, hundreds of workers will soon be needed once the hotels under construction are completed.
In his own ministry, the Public Works Minister said more design engineers, project managers and quality control specialists are needed.
Because of the growing labour needs, Edghill urged Guyanese to capitalise on the government’s training offers.
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.