Georgetown, Guyana – (May 31, 2019) Director, Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, this morning, said training, skills building and certification are necessary in order to benefit from the opportunities that are becoming available as the oil and gas sector emerges. Dr. Bynoe was at the time engaging students from the Government Technical Institute (GTI) and the Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC) at an interactive session hosted at the GTI at its Woolford Avenue, Georgetown location.

“Training and skills building and certification are necessary. In short, competency. It doesn’t matter what else you have. Too many of us are of the opinion that once I have a certificate it doesn’t matter where it came from; it doesn’t matter how long I’ve had it. It must be relevant. You need to keep pursuing …and ensuring you are competent for the industry. Advise your constituents as the technical officer said, your family and friends, for careers not only in oil and gas but also for careers in transformation,” he said.

Dr. Bynoe noted that the main objective of the interaction is to raise awareness among young persons about the sector and what it has to offer. As such, he implored the youths not to horde their knowledge, but instead to share it as each individual’s self-determination is in their own hands. “You have to make the effort now if you’re going to really possess that future tomorrow, and so just being at GITC or GTI is a step in the right direction. [However,] you are not going to become experts [by] just graduating from GTI tomorrow, and not because you step out with a certificate somehow you know it all. Training never stops… If you don’t continue to be relevant, the future will pass you by,” he said.

The Energy Director also made clear that he was not referring only to oil and gas, but those opportunities beyond the sector, and how the revenues accrued can be used to enhance economic, social and physical development. “So, we need to build awareness… Seek to inform yourself. The information doesn’t stop here today. This is just scratching the surface, which we hope will whet your appetite which will then encourage you to seek out and to inquire even further… You have to think beyond what your eyes can possibly see today,” he said.

Dr. Bynoe told the students that at this current stage they are well-positioned to participate and that their level of investment will determine how many benefits redound to them.

“So you have to ensure that you are not only positioning yourselves, but you are positioning yourselves for tomorrow, for next week, for next year, and for five years,” he said.

He noted too that Technical and Vocational Educational (TVET) institutions such as the GTI and GITC also have a role to play as their main objectives are to boost competency and efficiency. “I speak about competency because it’s not just [about]… doing a programme. It’s doing a programme which will position you for tomorrow,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, Council for Technical and Vocational Educational Training (CTVET) Director, Mr. Floyd Scott expressed similar sentiments. He explained that the Caribbean Vocational Qualification is the key to the CARICOM Skill Certification, which allows the students to obtain the completion of the competencies in their particular skilled area or occupation. “The Council of TVET has the mandate to ensure that qualification or certification is awarded based on the standards that you would have exhibited through the competencies that you were able to provide. That’s the key for you to strive for in all areas…. You will recognize there will be newly emerging jobs. You will have to position yourselves to deal with that. What I want us to realize as well, the world is global and we have to compete the same way like anywhere else. So, your level of skill has to rise to that challenge,” he said.

Additionally, Ministry of Education, Assistant Chief Education Officer – Technical, Mr. Patrick Chinedu, encouraged the students to capitalise on every opportunity to position themselves to benefit. “Guyana is going to be changing, as you’ve never seen it before,” he said; adding that “the question we have to ask ourselves is, what are the implications of all these changes in our lives? At the GTI, we do [subjects] like Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Computers, Computing, Business, Science, Land Surveying and we put all those things together. Those are some of the skills that we would be needing tomorrow.”

Mr. Chinedu then commended the Department of Energy for taking the steps to ensure that both staff and students are provided with adequate information on the sector.

At the close of the formal session Computer Science students, Miss Laricia Silva and Master Irwin Abrigo; Land Surveying Student, Miss Keisha Sandy; Electrical Engineering student Master Delaney Helwig and Science student, Miss Keri Duncan posed questions to the panel on Guyana’s preparedness and capacity to treat oil spills; how surveying skills can be utilised in the sector and plans for investments in the sector.

GTI Principal, Ms. Renita Crandon; Deputy Principal, Ms. Tifannie Persaud, Welfare Officer, Ms. Alero Proctor; Office Manager and Petroleum Geologist in the Department of Energy, Ms. Sharon Patterson and Ms. Marissa Foster respectively, also attended the session.

This is the ninth interactive session hosted by the Department to increase awareness among stakeholders and to foster their interest and participation in the sector.

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