Georgetown, Guyana – (May 11, 2018) A batch of 26 graduates from First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) training programme were, yesterday, offered an opportunity to obtain employment at the National Data Management Authority (NDMA), at the closing ceremony of the training, which was hosted in the Vigalstra Housing Administrative Building, Melanie Damishana, East Coast Demerara (ECD). Chairman of the NDMA, Mr. Floyd Levi said that the skills that the graduates have developed, as a result of their participation in the programme, have qualified them to vie for the data entry clerk position after they have completed a training regime conducted by the NDMA.

Mr. Levi said that the NDMA collaborated with the Office of the First Lady and the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) on training provided to two previous batches of graduates from the programme; those from Buxton and from Victoria, ECD. In his charge to the graduates, Mr. Levi encouraged them to “consider all the options that are pitched to you. Sometimes, the option that is right in front of you could be your first option [and the] option that I would like to throw out to you is to offer every graduate here the opportunity to work with the National Data Management Authority as data entry clerks, if you so desire. We have done that for two other programmes and we have the opportunity to offer that again to this group. It’s not an easy offer, as you might have heard from the students who work with us…We take you through a month of training and only if you meet the requirements at the end of it, you’re taken on board as a full-time staff [member],” Mr. Levi said.

The First Lady expressed her gratitude to the NDMA for providing the graduates with the employment opportunity. She then exhorted the students to constantly upgrade their skills in ICT, noting the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications in the modern work force. “I want to stress that you are living in the age of technology. It has been called the fourth industrial revolution, which requires you to learn continuously. I’m pretty sure that those persons employed by NDMA will have their skills upgraded as technology improves so you are constantly refitting yourself for the job market. I stress, too, the importance of knowledge of STEM, knowledge of robotics and computer science because all the data shows that 70 percent of the jobs in the modern world will soon require knowledge of computer science. Sixty percent of our jobs will be done by robots,” she said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Industrial Training, Mr. Richard Maughn, lauded the programme, noting that the Board has made a conscious effort to associate with programmes that deal with the development of potential labour force participants. “We make sure that the training, which we are involved in fully, develops an individual to gain employment. I’m quite sure that the training that you would have received would have been holistic in nature. The training did not only focus on skills related to ICT, but it also focused on other soft employable skills that are necessary to gain employment,” he said. Mr. Maughn then charged the students to “think outside the box” and create their own employment using the skills they would have developed during the training.

The ICT programme, which is a collaboration between the Office of the First Lady, the Ministry of Social Protection and the Board of Industrial Training, aims to provide the opportunity for young adults to access training in information technology. The programme also provides training in numeracy and literacy, sexual and reproductive health, communication skills, telephone ethics, microenterprise development and STEM Robotics.

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