Govt to offer skill training for Venezuelan migrants

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From L-R: Senior Regional Programme Coordinator for the Western Hemisphere, Andrea Dabizzi; Regional Director, Michele Klein-Solomon for North America, Central America and the Caribbean; Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton; and Project Coordinator for the Caribbean, Eraina Yaw at the IOM meeting

The Ministry of Labour’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT) could soon begin offering training opportunities to Venezuelan migrants in Guyana, to enable them to find employment in various sectors. 

Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton said the technical and vocational training courses will provide migrants with the necessary skills required to make them employable here. 

The minister met Wednesday with the Regional Director of the North America, Central America and the Caribbean International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Michele Klein-Solomon and other officials to address training opportunities for the migrants. 

“Many of them, I suppose, they have a certificate that might not qualify to be a certificate in this arena here. How do you graduate that certification and accreditation to match what Guyana looks for? And the Board of Industrial Training is properly placed, legally to help in that regard. Because our role is to offer technical and vocational training for people of all ages without qualification,” he said. 

Among the courses offered by BIT are child care, electrical installation, craft, commercial food preparation, and garment construction. 

Minister Hamilton emphasised that all courses offered by BIT are free of cost, and no prior certificate or qualifications are required. 

Meanwhile, he said the government is paying attention to legislation to develop a framework to control the migrant issues in Guyana. 

“We bring the migrants out of the informal arrangement to formal arrangement. Because the recognition is in informal operation environment, you can be exploited. They can be taken advantage of and all these issues that come along with it,” the minister said. 

Most migrants work mainly in the retail, trade, hospitality, construction, and mining sectors. 

He added, “Some months ago, both the President [Dr Irfaan Ali] and the Vice President [Dr Bharrat Jagdeo] spoke about the fact that in the very near future, we might have to recruit migrant labour to come and work in Guyana in different sectors.”  

Minister Hamilton said Guyana’s labour laws protect migrants as well.

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