The Chinese company Bai Shan Lin Forest Development Inc, which last week announced that it was seeking to recruit 700 Guyanese workers to kick-start a number of major investment projects in Guyana is aiming to provide jobs for up to 10,000 Guyanese in the longer term, Whenze Chu, Chairman of the company’s parent entity China Forest Industry Group Company Ltd, said.
Speaking from the company’s Shamrock Gardens, Ogle office where dozens of applicants had showed up in response to the company’s weekend advertisement, the chairman said that of the 700 workers the company was seeking to recruit, some would be hired immediately while the remainder would be required for work at the beginning of March. It is likely that another recruitment exercise will take place during this year, since, according to the chairman, the immediate recruitment drive only seeks to take account of the company’s labour needs for the first six months of this year.
Bai Shan Lin last week announced that it was moving ahead with a multi-pronged investment initiative here which includes a timber-processing plant at Linden and the creation of an industrial complex at Providence, which, according to a GINA release, will encompass separate operations for housing construction, woodworking, shipbuilding, food processing and mining. The release said the initiative will also include a school and a hospital. The facility billed for Providence, described in the GINA release as a “wood, economic and trade park,” will occupy five square kilometres and will be divided into three construction phases which will promote various kinds of wood products. GINA said the Chinese projects include construction of an international mall and an exhibition centre to showcase finished products manufactured at the company’s wood processing plant to be located in Linden.
Whenze told Stabroek Business that a separate recruitment exercise will be executed at Linden shortly.
While the recent Bai Shan Lin public notice advertises for skilled and semi-skilled workers including chain saw, excavator and grader operators, drivers, mechanics, cooks and factory construction workers, Whenze said the administrative and management team would also include a number of Guyanese. He said the company had already employed a number of Guyanese in its Finance Department and that it intended to recruit a very senior functionary, “at the level of Deputy General Manager” to serve as “a communication link between the management and the workers.” In expressing an awareness of the responsibilities of managing a large Guyanese labour force, Whenze told Stabroek Business that Bai Shan Lin can be relied upon “to respect the labour laws of Guyana” and to adhere to regulations governing the safety and health of workers and other conditions of work.
He said Guyanese recruited by Bai Shan Lin will benefit from training in various facets of the company’s operations to be executed by Chinese specialists while smaller numbers of “outstanding workers” will benefit from relevant training in China after being attached to the company for at least one year.