The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) closed its Industry Skills Training Enhancement Programme (In-STEP) yesterday with a graduation ceremony at the GuySuCo Training Centre, Port Mourant (GTCPM). The programme, launched by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman in June 2018, saw the inaugural batch of eighty-four (84) former sugar workers and young people graduating with distinctions, credits, and passes.
In-STEP was a collaboration between the Ministries of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Education. It was developed and proposed to the Ministry of Natural Resources by The Guyana Sugar Corporation Training Centre (GTC) in February of this year.
The programme, funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources at a cost of GYD $4.5M, included 120 hours of training being facilitated on Fridays and Saturdays at the GTCPM. It provided the participants with certified competency training in the basics of motor vehicle servicing and repairs, refrigeration, electrical installation, and welding and fabrication.
Present at the ceremony was Minister of Education Nicolette Henry, who highlighted that retraining experienced workers is necessary in order to meet the needs of the 21st Century industries that are emerging in Guyana.
The Minister told the graduates that this training will allow them to participate directly in the sustainability of the nation’s development, andthey are now ready to gain employment to support the direct and indirect services of the petroleum, mining, agriculture and other economic sectors.
“The fact that you are here proves that you understand the power of your own growth and recognise benefits of life-long learning.I congratulate you all on this exemplaryachievement, may you go onto create diverse industries righthere in Guyana that yield maximum productivity for yourchosen industry or your own innovative companies.” She said.
MNR Project Coordinator of In-STEP, Mariscia Charles, speaking on behalf of the Ministry, expressed satisfaction with the pioneering project. She further noted the Ministry’s commitment to providing training opportunities to develop the skills of Guyanese. Charles assured that the Ministry of Natural Resources remains committed to partnerships and to working with citizens across the country at every level.
The technical training programmeforms part of GuySuCo’s Alternative Livelihood Programme for the over 4,000 sugar workers who have been retrenched in the downsizing of the sugar industry.
The participants who have completed the In-STEP initiative are now eligible for entry into the New Amsterdam and Corentyne technical institutes to further develop their skills and become employable.