The Technical Vocational Education and Training programme of the Ministry of Education will be further enhanced with the launching today of the Heavy Duty Equipment Maintenance Level 3 Programme.The new programme was launched at the Linden Technical Institute (LTI).

Deputy Principal (ag) of the LTI Mr. Hector Anthony, said that the purpose of the programme is to train lecturers from sister institutions to acquire knowledge and skills at a higher level.These lecturers will then have the necessary skills and knowledge to train students at the respective TVET institutions across Guyana.The programme is being facilitated in collaboration with the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) out of Trinidad and Tobago and the Organisation of American States (OAS).

According to Assistant Chief Education Officer (Technical), Mr. Patrick Chinedu Onwuzirike, one outcome of the programme will be the needs of farmers being addressed in terms of having qualified men and women to repair and maintain their heavy-duty equipment.He said that the LTI is designed as the hub for the programme, however, the 10 participants in the first batch were taken from the Government Technical Institute, the New Amsterdam Technical Institute and the Mahaicony Technical and Vocational Training Centre (MTVTC).Mr. Onwuzirike remarked that the programme will contribute immensely to the emerging oil and gas sector. He said that the TVET sector of the Ministry of Education has been in contact with stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to know what are and what will be the manpower needs.The ACEO (Technical) said that the Education Ministry has been advised to focus on training a workforce for the support sectors that will arise as a result of the oil and gas sector. Further, it was noted by Mr. Onwuzirike that the Education Ministry has also made strides in the area of Occupational Health and Safety with the commissioning of a laboratory in September 2018. He said that soon the TVET programme will be training safety officers for Guyana.

He said that the TVET sector is committed to ensuring that the human capital needs of Guyana are brought to bear. Representing the OAS today was Mr. Jean Ricot Dormeus who said that every launch of an education programme creates hope, jobs and contributes to the development of the country. He said that the programme will serve to prepare the youths of today for the economy of tomorrow. Moreover, Senior Manager of Business Development (NESC), Ms. Lisa Joseph said that over the years, her entity has reviewed and tailored its curriculum to address the changing needs in the industry. She said that the programme will span approximately two years and encouraged the participants who are lecturers from various TVET institutions, that even though the programme will be demanding, they have already succeeded.

The principal of the LTI, Mrs. Shurla Brotherson said that having the right skills opens doors to new opportunities. She said that the programme will match the skills of the population with the industry needs of today and tomorrow. Following the launch, attendees were given a tour of the LTI including the Heavy Equipment Maintenance and Automotive Workshop where a lot of the practical work for the programme will be done and the classroom where the theory will be taught. Other entities represented at today’s launch included the Council for TVET and the Machinery Corporation of Guyana (MACORP).