$23.7M contract inked for premier accreditation facility under Labour Ministry

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To provide tradesmen with accreditation and certification for work, the Ministry of Labour on Monday signed a contract to the tune of $23.7 million, intended for the rehabilitation of a resource centre at Unity, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

The Board of Industrial Training (BIT) learning resource centre will be the premier facility for the certification of persons in the hard skills sector, Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton said.

With the aim of completing the building by year-end, the contract was awarded to Perba Trading and Construction during a brief ceremony at the Ministry’s Boardroom.

Training is expected to commence in 2024 and will facilitate welding programmes at the highest level. This is to ensure that Guyanese can become employed within the oil and gas sector.

“In Guyana we have a lot of skilled tradesmen who will tell you how many years they have been doing this and they will tell you they are the best as they see it.

“But the world that upon us and that is upon Guyana, they really are not the best because my fear is a company will come to build a building in this country and the contract says you cannot bring a person on this site unless they are certified and accredited,” Minister Hamilton said.

The owner of Perba Trading and Construction and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Labour Bishram Kuppen during the contract signing (Photo: DPI/ August 7, 2023)

Minister Hamilton said there are many skilled persons living in Guyana but the major investors coming to Guyana seek accreditation along with years of experience. In this regard, the government is investing millions into establishing training facilities.

It will also ensure that all skilled tradesmen are correctly re-trained and officially certified.

“This facility will be rehabilitated to take people there, to retrain them…we are to establish a welding area there so we will attach a facility to do welding at the highest level.

“We have to prepare our people both man and woman for the world that is before them and whilst this might seem to be a simple exercise it’s an important exercise for the development of Guyana,” the minister said.

Buildings in Lethem and Bartica are being refurbished as part of the Ministry’s attempt to provide utilities at each region for people to become certified. He added that in 2024 faciltiies will be established at Regions One and Eight just as was done in Regions Four, Five, Six, Seven and Nine.

The establishment of training centres is to assist with the labour shortage recorded in the building and construction sector. The Government is keen on all Guyanese being gainfully employed. These facilities will help avoid the Government having to allow companies to hire skilled foreign workers if there are sustained difficulties finding highly skilled workers for key technical positions.

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