Greater investment in education needed to meet labour demands -Urling

Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Clinton Urling says the Education Ministry must provide more resources to vocational and tertiary institutions to enable them to develop or adapt their programmes to meet new labour demands in the private sector.

In his address to graduates of the Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC), held at the Critchlow Labour College on Thursday, Urling said institutions like the GITC play an integral role in the development process as private sector companies, which are seen as the principle drivers of growth, depend on labour as a critical input into their operations.

While acknowledging that recently some steps have been taken to augment the curricula at some vocational institutions and the University of Guyana to offer courses relevant to the mining and in the extractive industries, he said much more can and has to be done.

Urling pointed out that the private sector is evolving and many companies are engaged in new economic activities “as a result of the changing domestic and global realities spurred on by technological innovations.” Conse-quently, he added, companies’ demand for skills competencies have also shifted and as such the educational system needs to adapt their curricula to meet this new labour demand.

Urling also urged the graduates to develop personal virtues such as humility and discipline, while noting that it is important for an individual to recognise that learning is continuous and that everyone can learn something from every person they meet. At the same time, he said poor attitude and behaviours are two of the problems the private sector has identified as hindrances to growth. Persistence is also important in achieving goals, he said.

In closing Urling charged the graduates to think big, plan and take small steps towards their goals. Further, he noted there was no substitute for hard work and learning should be ongoing, not only through the formal circles but via the internet, seminars and reading.

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