Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton on Friday, presided over a graduation ceremony for a batch of 205 students of the Board of Industrial Training’s (BIT) National Training Project for Youth Empowerment, in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).
The ceremony was held at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre. The minister expressed high hopes for the continued development of BIT, for the benefit of Guyanese.
“No place is too far. No place must be left out of the opportunities and the facilities that BIT brings to this country. I can say to you graduating students today that for the first time in the history of Guyana, every region in this country, we have a Board of Industrial Training officer. Never happened before. And that is because we recognise the importance of what BIT must do.”
The minister said BIT has become a vehicle to upskill and empower women in ways society has historically held them back. In his project report, BIT’s Region Three Technical Officer, Earl Pestano revealed that some 215 persons had applied to the programme.
He said 36 persons were trained at Pam’s Catering and Garment Facilities; 16 in garment construction and 20 in catering. Another 38 received training at the Alpha Foundation; 20 of those were in child care, while the remaining 18 trained to care for the elderly.
Some 15 were trained in cosmetology at NG Beauty Salon, 14 in food preparation at Heavenly Taste, and 14 in garment construction at Nicola’s Fashion and Sewing Establishment.
Fifty persons received training at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre; 30 in Heavy Duty Equipment Operation (HDEO) and 20 in small engine repairs.
Another 13 were trained in Information Technology at the Leguan Computer Centre through the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), 10 in garment construction at the Wakenaam NDC, and 15 in cosmetology at Fort Island through the NDC there.
The minister also handed over a new heavy-duty equipment operation (HDEO) simulator machine to the centre. The simulator was donated by the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), a development programme operating under the Ministry of Finance.
Heavy Duty Equipment Trainer, Mr. Alvin Jack, said the government will save on fuel costs when trainers learn on the simulator instead of actual equipment. He said the heavy-duty equipment would also be protected from the wear and tear of trainee use, as they will perfect their operation skills on the simulator.