THERE is a partnership brewing among ExxonMobil, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) for financial assistance for skills training to give youths a better chance of entering the oil-and-gas industry.

“We have been talking with ExxonMobil for a number of years now, and we’re at the point of launching some programmes, both at the TVET level as well as at the Board of Industrial Training to generate skills in numbers, and to build capacity in Guyana to generate those skills going forward,” TVET Council Chairman and BIT Board Chairman, Clinton Williams recently told the newspaper.Regarding TVET, the training programme will target facilitators to “train the trainers to train the people”, while there will be safety awareness programmes and more for the BIT. It is likely that these programmes will be up and functioning by the first quarter of 2020. Williams said that the bodies are aware that Guyana is new to the sector, and must therefore swiftly improve the technical skills of its people to benefit from a sector characterised by high standards. As such, the plan is for ExxonMobil to provide financial resources to TVET and BIT for training in a number of skilled areas.The Council for TVET is required to develop and initiate the implementation of policies; establish standards to meet national, regional and international requirements; develop the national system of performance testing and certification; undertake curriculum development with the use of the Competency-Based Modularised methodology; implement quality control mechanisms and more.Meanwhile, BIT administers and delivers technical and vocational educational training via training programmes. The Chairman stated that while Guyana is rightfully forging ahead with its local- content policy, this will mean nothing if skilled workers aren’t available to the sector. He explained: “The most critical input of the oil-and-gas sector is skills at all levels, because once you have skills at all levels, you’re going to have maximum local content, and it will lead to maximum returns on investment for Guyanese.” The BIT and TVET are also seeking out other companies interested in partnering for training, whether locally or internationally.