Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, is encouraging Guyanese, both at home and in the Diaspora, to evaluate what skills are needed in the oil and gas industry and look at specializing in some of those areas.
At a news conference at his office on Monday, Mr. Greenidge said, “If you are a Guyanese with skills in engineering then ensure that you are aware of the range of skills that the industry needs and that you specialize in a manner that is consistent with their needs.”
He warned that if Guyanese are not thinking along this path then they run the risk of being overlooked by foreigners, who are more qualified for positions in the sector.
The Minister stated, “That is the challenge that faces us to ensure that first of all people recognize where the opportunities lie because they don’t. Buying and selling is not going to be an advantage for us. Traditionally, many of our businesses are accustomed to buying cheap and selling expensive. You can’t compete with international companies if that is your business. You have to add value.”
At the same time he also noted that the oil and gas industry the world-over prides itself on upholding the highest industry standards and, therefore, it matters not if a country is new to the industry, the same principles of high standards must be applied.
“The services that you are acquiring have to be from agencies that are internationally certified. It is not a question of buying something from (someone) because he is a Guyanese or acquiring the services from someone simply because they are Guyanese. It is necessary to ensure that they are certified not by the company but at an international level. It is a major constraint.”
The Minister also acknowledged that Guyana not only lacks sufficient trained professionals in the emerging oil and gas sector but also in mining and other areas associated with the natural resources sector.