Since 1960 the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) had partnered with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to make the Apprenticeship programme, a success. The programme seeks to enable persons to gain the technical competencies in numerous fields such as electrician, mechanic, machinist among others.
BIT is an initiative under the Ministry of Social Protection, which seeks to develop youths through skills training. Minister Amna Ally in her feature address at the 56th Apprentice Graduation exercise of the GuySuCo Training Centre, last Wednesday, reiterated that “This administration intends to not only lift people out of poverty through these training programmes but to transform their horizons, aspirations…and improve social mobility within our country.”
The Minister commended GuySuCo for the programme, success in spite of adversities. This Apprenticeship programme is designed to satisfy the need for vocational/technical skills in field and factory. The training programme is four years duration; two years are spent in a residential setting pursuing general academic and specialised vocational skills training, the apprentices then write an exam. The final two years are spent on the Estate participating in an in-plant training programme.
Minister Ally told the graduating class of 61young men and women that in addition to continuing the rolling out of youth skills and empowerment programme, the government will continue to work in collaboration with all partners to facilitate, “the progression and empowerment of all our people regardless of their background.”
The students received certificates in several areas which included; Industrial Electrical Installation, Engineering Fitting & Machining, Factory Process instrumentation, Heavy & Light Automotive Engineering, Automotive Electrical Engineering, Factory Process Sugar Boiling and Instrumentation training.
Manager of the Training Centre Jay Sookpaul explained that the new GuySuCo concept captures the essence of the direction in which the corporation is progressing, that includes sugar cane cultivation, sugar production and a diversification division that will focus on a variety of ventures some of which include aqua culture, fruit crops, dairy farming, livestock farming, and rice cultivation.
The apprentice’s programme with BIT, initially began with 16 persons. Some 178 Guyanese would have benefited from this training between the period 2001 to 2017.