Guyanese youth warming up to oil and gas

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Attendees gather at the second round of a youth engagement forum on oil and gas held in Georgetown, Guyana on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Scores of young people in Guyana were given an opportunity to learn about the emerging oil and gas sector and how they can position themselves to benefit from opportunities. This was done through the hosting of the second round of a youth engagement on oil and gas sector forum, this time with emphasis placed on training.

The event was organized by the Department of Youth and took place at the Cliff Anderson Sports Complex, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown, Guyana.

Head of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, urged the young people to position themselves for the opportunities to come. “You need to learn and understand the sector so that you can develop skills that are in demand,” he told those gathered.

Dr. Bynoe explained that in order for Guyanese to make it in the sector, attitudes need to be changed. In this regard, he said, “Oil and gas will change the rules of the game. We need to focus on how we can raise standards and conduct business in a totally transformative environment.”

In other words, training, skills building and certification are necessary tools if one wants to succeed in the oil and gas sector.

Dr. Bynoe also urged the youths to plan for careers not only in the oil and gas sector, but also, “for the transformation of our country that is to come as a result of oil and gas.”

He disclosed too that government is currently working with the University of Guyana to conduct a needs assessment of what is required for the sector and will soon be tailoring training programmes to meet those needs.

The young people were also given opportunities to ask questions.

One youth, Martin Massiah, asked, “From a change management perspective, where specifically is the bottlenecks in programme development and capacity building for our people?”

Director of the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training  (CTVET), Mr. Scott, responded by saying, “One of the things that we are immediately lacking is that we do not have oil and gas experts.”

He believes that, “We need to start looking at our Occupational Standards and what needs to be done in that area to further support the sector and we are also looking to partner with other organizations that can help us.”

The youth engagement on the oil and gas sector is part of a series that will be rolled out over the next few weeks, aimed at educating the youth population in the South American country about the vast potential of the sector.