Guyana: Labour Ministry works to develop internship programme

Guyana: Labour Ministry works to develop internship programme

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Georgetown, Guyana: The Ministry of Labour, the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) and the University of Guyana (UG) are currently working together to develop an internship programme that would give all of the university’s final-year students the opportunity to benefit from skills training programmes.

As per the update by the Ministry, Joseph Hamilton, Minister of Labour, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BIT, Saskia Eastman-Onwuzirike, on Friday, May 19, 2023, met with the University of Guyana (UG) Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Engagement, Dr Emanuel Cummings; Academic Affairs Officer, Audwin Rutherford; and Research and Development Officer, Suzette James.

Senior Technical Officer of BIT, Bevon Shepherd, and Human Resource Officer Melinda Kelly were also present at the meeting.

The discussion focused on crafting a comprehensive programme guided by the recently reevaluated apprenticeship program undertaken by the International Labour Organization (ILO), with the goal of providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge to match the needs of the country’s labour market, according to the update by the Ministry.

Once finalized, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would be proposed and signed between the entities to assist university students in becoming well-rounded and competent persons for admission into Guyana’s workforce.

Since taking office in August 2020, Minister Hamilton has announced his desire to work with the university to implement an internship/apprenticeship programme to ensure students gain on-the-job experience while completing their academic courses.

The Labour Ministry outlined that recognizing the value of job experience, the University of Guyana, the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), and the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency (CRMA) have begun preliminary discussions to make this a reality. A move that the Ministry is grateful for and aims to encourage alongside private sector enterprises to allow people to seamlessly integrate into the workforce using the expertise they gain as apprentices.

In 2022, the Ministry’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Department trained eight (final-year Environmental Health students from the University of Guyana (UG) for eight weeks under the direction of OSH Consultant Gweneth King.

They were subjected to workplace safety and health inspections in Regions 3, 4, Georgetown, and 5, as well as providing aid with the accident and complaints investigations, workplace registration, and the Recording and Notification of Occupational Accidents and Occupational Diseases (RNOAD) System.