Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat encouraged the newest entrants of the Youths in Natural Resources Apprenticeship programme to capitalize on the opportunity to explore various fields of the sector through training.
He said the local Natural Resources sector lacks enough skilled Guyanese workers to offset the demands of the industry and the apprenticeship would provide tons of opportunities to show young people how exciting and rewarding the sector can be.
The Minister issued this call during his keynote address to the youth at the opening ceremony on Saturday, which was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“The Youth in Natural Resources is to basically encourage youths to get into the field of natural resources because what we have found over the years is that young people are shying away from the sector. I don’t know if they don’t see it as fashionable or in trend. They are more into the business, accounting field.”
The Minister said for example, that several extractive industry companies have indicated their interest in underground mining. However, Guyana is at a “complete disadvantage” since there is no Guyanese qualified enough to approve or monitor this unique form of mining.
He also encouraged the participants not to limit themselves academically.
“You need to know where you want to go and you are at the stage in your life where that becomes an issue, where that becomes a problem. Most of you are pondering. Most of you are in a dilemma as to what career to choose; what to do with my life; which fields should I go into; what should I study. There are all questions that as young people you have on your mind. And we are hoping that with this programme, that we can answer some of those questions. That we can guide you in the path where we think that you can make a difference, that you can make a contribution. That is the whole idea behind the Youths in Natural Resources.”
The Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship programme is slated to last three weeks. During this period, youths will be given the opportunity to experience Guyana’s interior regions, learn about the natural resources sector and job opportunities therein.
Participants will also interact with mentors and professionals to gain knowledge of working in the extractive industries, including in the oil and gas sector. Additionally, they would be able to establish corporate links through networking with the businesses in the sector and also be enrolled as Youth Ambassadors for Natural Resources.