Redundancies on the scale recently experienced in our sugar industry are likely to create significant and enduring challenges, not just in the sugar belt communities, but in the wider economy and society. In other words, when the labour force contracts as quickly as it has, the effects will be extensive and enduring. Studies of similar events elsewhere suggest that strategies need to be devised for the short-term, mid-term and long-term. They need to be holistic, flexible, well researched and well-funded. Thus far, efforts to address the redundancies have been partial and focused on the near-term. It’s not clear that mid-term or long-term plans have been crafted.
Moray House Trust’s approach has been guided by three priorities; first, the need for strategic thinking in a crisis, second, the need for a collaborative, non-partisan effort (where expertise and ideas are sourced from all quarters) and third, the need to involve the communities directly affected by these redundancies in planning for the future.To this end, Moray House has convened a panel with representatives from Guysuco, Region Six communities, the private sector and local government to try to outline the scope of the challenge, to pool their ideas and to work together on proposals.
The strategies discussed by the panel will have three main areas of focus; taxation regimes for the affected regions, a schematic for infrastructure development and rehabilitation and a holistic approach to training and recruitment (that builds on existing facilities in Region 6 and targets perceived skill shortages and opportunities in the job market).
Speakers will include: Mr Christopher Ram – Attorney at Law and Chartered Accountant; Mr Ryan Alexander – President, Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority;Ms Audreyanna Thomas – Corporate HR Manager Guysuco; Mr Krishnand Jaichand – Mayor of Corriverton and President Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce; Dr Lowell Porter – CEO -Small Business Bureau
– Mr Dave Hicks – CEO (ag) National Drainage and Irrigation Authority.
Major General (rtd) Joseph Singh, a Trustee of Moray House Trust, will serve as Chair and Moderator.
Moray House Trust views this initiative as the beginning of a conversation about how to respond to the crisis. Its aim is to help to frame the questions, to help to kick-start the process required to craft a workable plan for economic revival in Region Six. The panel discussion, ‘Strategies for Economic Revival in Region Six’ will take place at Moray House Trust on Tuesday 27th February at 5.00 pm. All are welcome but space is limited so please RSVP [Tel 2260724] to confirm attendance.