Transformed economy will need robust public service -Minister Roopnaraine
Minister of Public Service Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine says Budget 2019 will prepare the public service to manage a transformed economy starting in 2020.
Making his presentation during the 2019 National Budget debate at the National Assembly. Roopnaraine said that the vision of a good life for Guyanese cannot be achieved without building the capacity of its people to take advantage of the opportunities that will be made available. With that, he pointed out that a $1.5Billion allocation in the budget will help to create a robust public service.
Meanwhile, Opposition Member of Parliament Jenifer Westford said the Guyanese people need jobs and the sum provided in the budget was inadequate to take the country forward.
However, the Minister pointed out that the Bertram Collins College established by the government, not only provides jobs for young people countrywide but also provides them with adequate training needed to be professional public servants.
He noted that in 2017, fifty-eight young people were trained and are now a part of the public service while another 60 will soon be graduating and also joining the labour force. Minister Roopnaraine reiterated that building the capacity of the public service is critical to the development of the nation.
“Cadets are recruited from around the country and on completion of their programmes are placed in public service institutions in the region of their origin,” he stated. The 2019 budget provides for a 30-seater bus for those at the college, a smart classroom and better living facilities.
Minister Roopnaraine also made note of the planning and analysis unit which is focused on capacity building in the public service. The unit was established last year and hit the ground running with a number of training opportunities with a special focus on accessibility in the distribution of scholarships.
A number of people were afforded scholarships in various fields which included the oil and gas sector. It provided master’s degrees in petroleum data management, petroleum exploration and oil and gas technology.
It was also highlighted that the government in its efforts to develop the public service, 253 students are currently overseas in a number of countries pursuing studies through scholarships provided by the government. He noted that 71 will soon be returning to help with the development of the country.
Additionally, 978 students are on scholarships locally carrying out studies at various educational institutions, all of whom will be entering the public service workforce.
“It is towards this goal that the lion’s share of this year’s allocation to my ministry goes towards training and academic scholarships. $1.5B representing a 50 percent increase. There is absolutely no other way that’s ensuring the interest of our people are protected” the Minister stated.