Guyana moves to assess national skills pool to aid human development agenda

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Guyana’s Ministry of Education is seeking a consultant to conduct a national skills audit to aid human development efforts. This is part of the government’s plans to prepare the country for its oil-fueled modernisation. Oil production continues to expand offshore, bringing an explosion of wealth and new challenges to the small nation.

To fund the consultancy, the Ministry will tap into a World Bank loan under the Guyana Strengthening Human Capital Through Education Project.

The services being sought include executing a rapid assessment of the current workforce in Guyana, skills gaps and potential migrant labour needs. The consultancy will be carried out based on desk and field research, primary data collection and statistical analysis (labour demand survey), qualitative information through interactions with key local authorities; private sector academia, and civil society. It is expected to be completed over a total period of six months.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat had announced the audit in May. He said it would inform efforts to revise the targets in Guyana’s Local Content Act. The Act mandates quotas for Guyanese involvement in the oil and gas value chain. But outside of oil, a skills assessment would be useful in helping Guyana decide on targets for its human development agenda, particularly at the University of Guyana and through its scholarship programmes.

The government plans to make education at the University of Guyana free by 2025. It has also embarked on a multi-year initiative to grant citizens thousands of scholarships to study online at universities around the world.

The Migration Policy Institute estimated that Guyana will need at least 160,000 more workers to sustain the economic growth brought on by the exploration for and development of its oil and gas resources. Guyana will have to source most of these from overseas and plans to tap into its massive diaspora.


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