Stabroek News Sunday

Forty more hinterland women trained through First Lady’s programme


Forty women from regions Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni) and Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo) graduated on Friday evening from the Atlantic Maritime and Offshore Training Institute (AAMOTI) through a fully-funded scholarshi­p programme that was a collaborat­ion between the Office of the First Lady and the institute, a release from the First Lady’s Office stated yesterday.

The graduation took place during a ceremony at the Baridi Benab, at the State House in Georgetown.

According to the release, the 40 women were the second batch of a total of 60 women who have since benefitted from the scholarshi­p programme. A total of 100 women from the hinterland will receive training through the programme which was launched last year.

The 40 hinterland women spent the last week at the institute’s Friendship, East Bank Demerara location undergoing the Basic Safety Training (BST) and Ship Security Awareness Training – both of which are accredited by the Guyana’s Maritime Administra­tion Department (MARAD) and the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), the release informed.

In her remarks at the graduation ceremony, First Lady Arya Ali stated that the programme aims to address the significan­t underrepre­sentation of women in the labour force; specifical­ly in sectors like oil and gas, constructi­on, shipping, and logistics. She highlighte­d that the participat­ion rate for women is around 50 per cent, compared to about 80 per cent for men.

The First Lady explained that the courses were chosen based on data from the Guyana Skilled Labour Assessment Study, which shows that over the next five years, Guyana’s oil and gas, constructi­on, transporta­tion and logistics, health, and agricultur­al sectors will require an additional 53,000 workers.

“The STCW [Standards of Training and Certificat­ion of Watchkeepi­ng] and Ship Security Awareness Courses, both of which you have successful­ly completed, empower you to do just that – enter these male-dominated industries and increase the participat­ion of women in areas historical­ly dominated by men,” Ali told the 40 graduates.

She also noted that as Guyana becomes a more attractive place to work and live, competitio­n in the labour market will naturally increase with the addition of labour migrants from all over the world.

“But, holding these regionally-accredited certificat­es in two distinct areas of Health, Safety, Security and Environmen­t (HSSE) places you ahead of the curve. You have a head start, and while it certainly is a cause for celebratio­n, it is also a cause for action on your part. You must recognise and capitalise on this advantage ahead of those who will be scouting for opportunit­ies in Guyana in the coming years,” she urged the women.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of AAMOTI, Miranda Thakur-Deen spoke about how privileged it was for the institutio­n to partner with the Office of the First Lady to offer technical training to Guyanese women.

“The First Lady continues to lead the charge in providing access to opportunit­ies for our women, and support their developmen­t at every level. So we are extremely delighted and privileged to have been able to work with her office on this amazing programme which supports the empowermen­t of women and girls in the hinterland.”

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, who also spoke at the ceremony, encouraged the graduates to see this milestone as just the beginning of what could be exciting and successful careers for them. He was keen to point out that programmes like these show that the government is making strides in bridging the gap between hinterland communitie­s and the coast, to ensure that there is equitable access to opportunit­ies and resources.

Also giving remarks at the ceremony was President of the Women in Maritime Associatio­n Caribbean (WiMAC)-Guyana chapter, Thandi McAllister, who underscore­d the important role women play in the maritime and offshore sectors.

 ?? ?? The graduates with others (Office of the First Lady photo)
The graduates with others (Office of the First Lady photo)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana