Youth involvement in the training programmes offered by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) has increased tremendously, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This is according to BIT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Maughn. He said the growth is a result of the methods adopted by Minister of Labour, Hon. Joseph Hamilton, since assuming office in August, 20211103 3

He said the joint venture partnerships created between the Ministries of Labour, Culture, Youth and Sport and Amerindian Affairs as well as the human-centred approach with a focus on sustainable development programmes, also played a significant role.

“As an organisation, we continue to try to programme sustainably. So, we consider those domains of the environment, the economic activities that are happening on the social constraint. Now, when we look at the way Guyana is going, the Board of Industrial Training is ideally poised to make an impact in the lives of individuals.

It means that they are the structural change that we are pushing internally, to make sure that when person train right, they’re able to make the best opportunities or make the best use of the opportunities that will be derived as a result of what is happening in our economic landscape in Guyana,” the CEO told DPI on Tuesday.

He reiterated that the pandemic did not slow down the work of the entity, but rather, fast-tracked its plan to provide online classes. This includes programmes recognised regionally and internationally.

“We will continue to go that way. We can succeed. So, although you have the pandemic affecting a lot of persons and BIT was no exclusion, our staff have been affected directly and indirectly by the pandemic. But notwithstanding that, the numbers or average per year have not changed, instead we would have increased.”

Since launching the online feature, the entity has been able to offer more online courses, a few of which the CEO pointed out are equivalent to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) standards.

There is also a system in place to ensure BIT programmes receive recognition from the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT).

CTEVT recently certified several persons from a fibre optic technology course -a non-traditional occupational programme offered by BIT.

“In addition to that, all of those individuals who completed the training successfully were offered employment. Some of them were employed by GT&T among other agencies,” he added.

In July, Minister Hamilton and Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide a $39.2 million skills training programme targeting some 440 Community Support Officers (CSOs).

About 150 CSOs have already benefitted from the programme.