[www.inewsguyana.com] – An estimated 2000 plus Hinterland youths are expected to become employable at the end of the new Hinterland Employment and Youth Service Programme, according to Minister in the Ministry of Communities, Dawn Hasting-Williams.
This new programme is a replacement for the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training (YEST) programme that was implemented under the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration but later rejected by the new government.
Under the YEST programme, close to 2,000 Amerindians were employed as Community Support Officers (CSO) and paid a monthly stipend of $30,000 upon submission of monthly reports validated by the Village Council and or Community Development Officer (CDO).
But Hastings – Williams told the National Assembly on Wednesday night that the new programme will bring tremendous benefits to the hinterland youths who will receive training in appropriate skills, to aid in the sustainable development of their communities.
The youths are set to benefit from training in areas such as carpentry, joinery, masonry, motor mechanics and garment construction, Minister Hasting-Williams said. She also pointed out that another benefit of this programme is the fact that hinterland communities will no longer have to rely on external capacities to develop their communities.
But the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) noted that as result of the legal proceedings filed on behalf of the 1,972 CSOs against the APNU+AFC Government, it is attempting to make amends by implementing substitute programme.
“In the absence of information regarding this hastily announced statement in the Parliament, seems to be a training programme and not employment for the fired Amerindians. The legal, political and constitutional wrongs have already been done. The Vice President and Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs Sydney Allicock attempted to mislead the house by stating that the PPP did not plan to pay these CSOs. However the records will show that their payroll was already prepared for April 2015, mere days before the General and Regional Elections,” the PPP stated.
A statement noted that the PPP will only accept a full reinstatement of the CSOs.