Oil and Gas firms urged to hire laid-off sugar workers

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The PPP/C Administration is encouraging companies in the oil industry to seek out areas that would allow persons laid off by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to be employed.

Minster within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar made the statement during Sunday’s job fair held by Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYSBI) at the Uitvlugt Community Centre, Region Three.

Minister Indar said the GYSBI had approached government for advice on areas it should focus its searches.

“I said the best place is the catchment area where GuySuCo lost workers because GuySuCo lost a lot of technical people, a lot of technical education. They had, good welders, good mechanics…”

Positions available with GYSBI include warehouse supervisors, crane operators, field technicians, mechanics, equipment maintenance technicians and fuel facility operators.

The minister said the best place to find those workers would be in areas like Uitvlugt, Enmore and Wales.

The Uitvlugt fair is one of three to be held by GYSBI, in a bid to add 150 workers to its staff pool of almost 500. The first fair was held at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence on Saturday and the last will be at Enmore Martyrs’ Monument Ground next Saturday.

As for Wales, the government is banking on the Wales Development Zone (WDZ) to scoop up severed sugar workers in the coming years. Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo had visited the Wales Community Centre last Wednesday and told residents that the new industrial zone will create more new jobs for persons laid off in the sugar industry.

Minister Indar said individuals wondering how their communities will benefit from the oil industry should look to job fairs and other initiatives by oil companies to hire Guyanese, and ensure they take advantage of these opportunities.

“The event really is to draw persons into the pool… This is an opportunity. Right here is an opportunity for 150 persons to benefit from that process.”

He explained that government did its part to ensure opportunities are available for locals by granting permits expeditiously to oil support companies.

“When we came in government in August 2020, there were a number of permits held up for GYSBI… So, when we came in, we sat down with the operators and we went through the permitting process. GYSBI received about 16 permits within three months of our coming into office.”

The minister said those projects amounted to US$16 million in investments.

With the progress of its operations, GYSBI said that it has already achieved 97 per cent local content with 500 employees.

Its Government Liaison Officer, Rabin Chandarpal said “our people take pride in their work and understand their impact on the local community. As one of the largest employers in oil and gas in Guyana, with a 97% local workforce, we are proud to showcase Guyanese talent.”

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Industrial Training (BIT), Richard Maughn also attended.