Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, recently disclosed his interest in bringing closer to these shores some 2000 jobs the ExxonMobil-led consortium in the Stabroek Block contracts overseas. The Head of State believes giving these jobs to locals could lead to a US$60 million boost to the economy annually.
During his remarks at the Annual Awards and Induction Ceremonial Dinner of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), the Head of State expressed a strong commitment to expanding opportunities for the youth of Guyana, both locally and within the diaspora. Here, Ali introduced his interest in nearshoring jobs, which refers to transferring a business operation/job to a nearby country. Ali said such employment opportunities can carry a salary range of US$30,000 to US$35,000.
“This is a big area in the world today, nearshoring opportunities, and guess what? Exxon and the other partners in the consortium hire thousands of persons on nearshoring jobs across the world,” the President said.
He further noted that it is incumbent on his administration to present a persuasive case to Exxon and its partners, Hess Corporation and CNOOC Petroleum Limited, that they must bring those nearshoring jobs to Guyana. Ali said his government is prepared to make a complementary investment in training totalling US$10 million.
“We are going to engage the best training institutions, universities on six, eight and 12- months training starting with 2000 Guyanese, and we are going to train them in different skill levels for nearshoring jobs,” the Head of State said.
The President’s vision is intrinsically linked to the Local Content Act, which his government passed in December 2021. That legislation lists 40 services that oil and gas companies and their subcontractors must procure from Guyanese. The legislation has allowed over US$720 million in local content spending for 2023. Ali’s latest venture would bring in an additional US$60 million annually.
Since assuming office in 2020, the Guyana government has championed the need for locals to be given equal opportunities in the oil and gas sector. It continues to lobby for further benefits not captured in that law.