Port of Spain (ILO News) - Two new reports published yesterday, 19 December 2022, by the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), highlight main occupational and skills needs in the oil and gas and construction sectors in Guyana upon surveying the private sector. The accelerated expansion of the oil and gas operations has exposed a pronounced gap between the industry’s labour demand and the availability of skilled workers at the local level. If not addressed, the latter will likely slow down the growth of the sector and of the whole economy or, at the very least, generate inefficiencies in the firm level performance and for the economy.
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Using newly-collated data the analysis in Prospective occupational skills needs in the Guyanese oil and gas and construction industries, 2022-2026 is meant to support the Government of Guyana, local stakeholders, employers, workers’ representatives, TVET institutions and academia to assess and, to the extent possible, anticipate the labour demand and skills needs. It also provides an overview of how those needs are or could be addressed via the present educational infrastructure.
Engineers, specialists in occupational health and safety, and ship deck crews lead the list of “most in demand” profiles in the oil and gas industry over the next five years while building frame workers, engineers and mobile plant operators are the most coveted in construction. Associated with those and perceived as not sufficiently available in the country, private sector respondents pointed out, for oil and gas, the need to upgrade technical skills such as rigging, welding, capacity to ensure compliance with health and safety standards, and knowledge of nautical systems; and for construction, the need to upgrade IT skills to guarantee that they complement solid technical ones.
“Our findings show that oil and gas and construction will need a substantial number of workers in the next five years, at least-some 5,000 and 8,000 respectively” commented Diego Rei, ILO Office for the Caribbean Employment Specialist and one of the authors of the study: “It is in the interest of everyone to ensure that the profiles sought are known in advance to design suitable policy response and allow students and the working population to make informed educational and career choices”.
Minister of Labour, The Honourable Joseph Hamilton, welcomed the reports stating "the information in the reports from both ILO and IOM is important for us in the Government to give us some guidance and some understanding as to what we must do".