Upskilling Guyanese to adequately service Guyana’s massively expanding oil and gas sector is a priority of the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led government. In seeking to achieve this goal, President Ali announced Thursday that over US$100 million will be invested into Guyana’s first-ever oil and gas training institute.
“It is not just about a training centre for Guyana,” President Ali said.
“We are talking about an oil and gas training institute that is international in nature. We are not only building the reservoir of knowledge and training for Guyanese, but also beyond us. Training and education are business opportunities.”
The Head of State was at the time addressing an event at State House, Georgetown.
As part of Budget 2022, the government had allocated GY$420.5 million (US$2.1 million) to train Guyanese for jobs in the country’s oil and gas sector, with GY$160 million budgeted for the first phase. Under this programme, training and certification are said to be provided to welders, stevedores, heavy vehicle operators, and others. The programme will see up to 4,500 persons being trained over the next four years.
Oil and gas training would fall under the remit of the National Training Institute – the brainchild of President Ali set to be headquartered in Port Mourant, Region Six.
The location of this training centre is by no accident. By setting up this institute in Berbice, government means for it to prepare Berbicians for opportunities with CGX Energy – the Canadian oil company whose operations are revving up in the county of Berbice. If the company strikes a commercial discovery at the Corentyne Block, this will buttress the county’s economy. CGX is already constructing a deepwater port in the region.
The Government of Guyana is expected to collaborate with ExxonMobil on the establishment of this training institute. Back in April, President Ali; Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo; Alistair Routledge, President of Exxon’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) and other government and company personnel met to discuss the path forward on this project.
International firms operating in Guyana have also been doing their part to train Guyanese in the hydrocarbons industry. ExxonMobil Guyana has partnered with locals to deliver technical training to Guyanese. SBM Offshore provided hands-on floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) training for graduate engineers in Singapore. Meanwhile, a venture between 3t EnerMech and Orinduik Development Incorporated Training Centre will deliver Guyana’s first in-country, state-of-the-art training facility for the local workforce.
Building Guyana’s human resources capacity goes hand-in-hand with the government’s Local Content Act, that gives preference to Guyanese nationals and Guyanese businesses in the country’s oil and gas sector. At the end of 2022, the government will be conducting an assessment to ascertain whether adjustments to the Act need to be implemented.