Construction is underway at the Port Mourant Technical Training College in Berbice, Region 6. This highly-anticipated project is meant to train Guyanese to take up roles in the oil and gas and hospitality sectors.
Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh highlighted the start of construction via his Facebook page. Spanning 18.4 acres, the facility is part of a larger blueprint that includes a Hospitality and Tourism Institute and the Oil and Gas Training College.
A project summary posted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the facility is intended to prepare personnel for industry-level training equivalent to that of the rest of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Caribbean Vocal Qualification (CVQ). “The institute is seen as a necessity for the development of advanced skills in both sectors, for building supervisory and management level capacity, and even as preparation for higher education degrees,” the document stated.
Guyana’s oil sector continues to expand, and tourism with it. To cater to this increasing influx of visitors and the demands of the expanding oil and gas industry, President Dr. Mohamed Irfan Ali announced an investment of over US$100 million for the Berbice facility.
Thus far, the Ministry of Education has already started the bidding process for the Hospitality Training Institute. A range of bids, from US$6.4 million to US$13 million, have been submitted. The bids, recorded on August 22 by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), were from R. Bassoo & Sons Construction, China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Co. Ltd., Kares Engineering Inc., Shandong Hi-Speed Dejian Group Co. Ltd., and Nabi Construction Inc.
Exxon is also in the middle of procurement for construction service providers.
The decision to situate the college in Berbice is consistent with government plans to decentralize the economic boom and ensure that opportunities reach beyond Georgetown and its environs.