Dr. Hassan Bata Ndahi, Senior Specialist for Skills and Employability at the ILO’s Caribbean Office (third from right); and BIT Chief Executive Officer, Richard Maughn (left), pose with some of the participants of the Workshop

– having completed ILO skills anticipation training

TECHNICAL, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and other educational institutions, are now better positioned to evaluate the quality and quantity of current and future jobs needed in the Guyana employment market.

This is as a result of the successful completion of a four-day International Labour Organisation (ILO) Skills Anticipation Training Workshop that concluded last Thursday at the Cara Lodge. With the skills garnered, personnel within these institutions can now craft coordinated educational programmes in response to the needs of the job market.
The training aimed to better align skills available in Guyana with skills demanded in varying employment industries in the country, thereby allowing institutions to put in place necessary programmes where deficits exist.

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“They would be able to provide information to universities to start programmes. Then we are going to be able to have those skills here in Guyana rather than the skills coming from somewhere else,” said Dr. Hassan Bata Ndahi, Senior Specialist for Skills and Employability at the ILO’s Caribbean Office.

Dr. Ndahi was one of the facilitators at the workshop, which was conducted with a particular focus on oil and gas and the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).
“This particular course is to give the knowhow to finding exactly what are the occupational areas that are needed in oil and gas, what are the skills, and whether they now need to develop programmes in their technical institutions and particular at the university,” Ndahi shared following the conclusion of the programme.

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“Right now to say what are the jobs that are needed? They are not very clear. What are the skills that are needed? They are not very clear. This information they have will enable them to go back now and be able to say these are the things that we need to know, do we know these things? And they can begin to find out information on those needs,” he further explained.

The workshop was funded by the ILO and coordinated by the Council for TVET, in collaboration with the Board of Industrial Training (BIT).
“This training initiative that we would’ve embarked on over the past four days will help us to be able to make wise use of government resources when we are implementing training programmes, having programmes that are relevant to our economy,” said BIT Chief Executive Officer, Richard Maughn.

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“Things that we do in today’s society need to be driven from data and data analysis. Our economy is currently being driven by the oil and gas sector and our society is also being directed by the GSDS; these two factors dictate that we be very direct in what we are doing when it comes to training. The skills that we the participants would’ve acquired over the last few days will help us to do just that,” he added.

The workshop, which began on Monday, was attended by 42 participants from BIT, Government Technical Institute (GTI), Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC), Council for TVET, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Social Protection, Ministry of Business and a contingent from the Cayman Islands. The workshop was mainly for instructors and curriculum developers from educational institutions.

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With Guyana said to be on the cusp of transformation into a petroleum state and a ‘green’ economy, the training focused on the challenges that confront the country, and outlined what is required to meet the needs during the transition.

Without a proper understanding of the skills needed, training institutions could produce an overload of a particular skill, inundating the market and contributing to unemployment.
“Generating skill for employment is not the same as randomly generating skills. Training institutions are contributing largely, in some cases, to unemployment by generating particular skills in excess of what the labour market can absorb.

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A more proactive approach and solution to this problem is utilising the critical unemployment data, such as market information survey, internal tracer studies and other sources of data to identify skill gaps, skill shortages and skills in excess,” explained Rondell Jorden, a Mechanical Engineer and Senior Technical Officer, who participated in the workshop.

“We welcome this knowledge transfer over the past four days and we want to assure the ILO that it will be largely integrated into our programme planning,” he said.
Other participants of the venture resoundingly agreed that the workshop had accomplished its objectives.

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“What we have learned here was timely for the institutions at this time when we are tasked with developing and aligning with the emerging oil and gas. Collecting data is important in knowing how to make our programmes more relevant,” said GITC Administrator, Dextor Cornet.

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