Some of the sacked workers, who lost their jobs when the coalition administration closed several estates across the country, are now turning towards the budding oil and gas industry for new opportunities.
There are at least 11 former Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) workers who have been recruited by TOTALTEC Oilfield Services, which has partnered with Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYSBI) to train over 120 Guyanese in basic safety and oilfield operations to enable them to successfully join and participate in the emergent oil and gas sector.
Desmond Anderson, 25, former electrical and instrument repair mechanic from the now closed Rose Hall Estate, and Santkumar Singh, 25, a former field workshop mechanic from the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Estate, both related that after losing their jobs following the closures, they were forced to take up employment in other fields.
Now with this opportunity that has come up, though in a completely new sector for them, they are both ready for the challenge.
“This is all new to me, but I’m all eager about the training. I don’t know what it might entail, but I’m willing and all determined to learn something new,” Anderson posited.
Meanwhile, Singh added: “The oil and gas field is different compared to GuySuCo, so yes it is going to be a challenge yes, but it’s something that we’re willing to take on.”
With offshore operations moving apace, these recruits are expected to fill safety and operational positions on the shore base located at Houston, Greater Georgetown. These recruits are expected to undergo a four-month training exercise conducted at the TOTALTEC International Petroleum and Maritime Academy (IPMA, known as The Academy) using their existing programmes.
At the launch of the training on Wednesday, TOTALTEC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lars Mangal noted that it was a major undertaking to recruit and train 120 new young men and women for the industry.
“This journey has been one very, very challenging journey to catalyse and create capacity-building efforts that’s foundational to the Guyana oil and gas industry, and that starts with getting people into the industry – Guyanese, especially young people into the industry – in a foundational way so they can then start to build meaningful careers for themselves, their families in the industry, in a safe and professional way,” Mangal stated.
Over the past year, TOTALTEC has recruited, trained and found gainful employment for over 150 Guyanese. The Academy usually recruits and trains persons who are then employed by oil companies.