Citizens can benefit from Govt’s part-time job initiative for years to come – VP Jagdeo

– 3000 residents in Reg 6 including PWDs to benefit

As the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C0 Government continues to expand its ambitious part-time job initiative across the country, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has reasoned that Guyanese can benefit from this programme for years to come.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo interacting with residents at Tain Campus

He made this remark at the New Amsterdam Technical Institute in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), where he launched the part-time job initiative on Thursday. Already, this programme has been launched in Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) where 2000 and 1000 residents benefited, respectively.
Now, another 3000 persons are slated to benefit from part-time jobs in Berbice and could start working as early as next week.
At Thursday’s launch, VP Jagdeo met with benefices at various locations on the Corentyne including at the University of Guyana Tain Campus and also in New Amsterdam. He said the government will do whatever it takes to change the lives of citizens of this country.
To this end, the Vice President explained that though these are part-time jobs, persons can remain occupied for years under this initiative. Responding to comments from the Opposition camp, he pointed out that this is not a one-year contract.
“These are not temporary jobs; they are part time jobs… This can go on for many, many years.”
“So, let me clarify right away that this contract does not end in a single year. Once you get onto the programme, it stays for a number of years. So, it’s part-time jobs, not temporary jobs,” he contended.
Persons benefiting from this initiative will be attached to various government ministries and agencies, where they will work for 10 days monthly and earn $40,000.
According to Jagdeo, the only requirement needed is that the beneficiaries have to be Guyanese. He noted that this is just a stepping stone, especially as it relates to young people, until they get better job opportunities.
Explaining the need for the programme, the Vice President said under the APNU+AFC government, some 35,000 jobs were lost even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and after the pandemic hit causing the country to shut down, another 35,000 to 40,000 jobs were lost.
In Region Six alone, about 7000 jobs were lost.
“If you take out a few billion dollars from the economy of Berbice because of low wages or because the workers are laid off, it doesn’t affect only sugar workers. It affects the whole region and we saw that happening right across the region. New Amsterdam, sales dropped and many people lost their jobs,” he noted.
Additionally, the Vice President claimed the policies implemented by the previous administration were not helpful as several new taxes were added including taxes on construction material. As such, he called on citizens to disregard the negative utterances from the APNU/AFC Opposition, stating their economic policies were inimical to the interests of the people and retrogressive.
The VP noted that, “The policy was not helpful to job creation, when taxes were introduced on electricity and water, machinery and equipment. We thought that was counterproductive and that is what affected the economy.”
Nevertheless, he highlighted that the PPP/C Government, upon assuming office less than two years ago, had to quickly implement a strategy to deal with the job loss, as well as the rising cost of living, brought on by the pandemic and exacerbated more recently by the Russia/Ukraine war.
However, while Jagdeo stated that his administration will do whatever it takes to ensure citizens lives are improved, he noted that the $40,000 which will be paid to the part-time workers is not free money but they will have to work for it.
“You’re working for the government now. So, you have to have the attitude, in those 10 days that you work, that you’re there to serve people for the 10 days and you give your very best… I hope that you deployed well so that you can make the maximum effort in the 10 days that you work. The income too, although it is not too high, it will help to offset some of the cost-of-living rise,” the Vice President stressed.
Meanwhile, he further stated that the PPP/C has always been interested in the nation’s young people because they will be the ones determining the future of the country, As such, VP Jagdeo encouraged those participating in this initiative to ensure that they take advantage of the opportunity to study and upgrade themselves, citing government’s Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships programme.
“We expect all of you who are on the programme to utilise the other opportunities provided by the Government of Guyana to study, to upgrade yourself, because any person who wants to do an online scholarship from this group or anywhere in the country, the government will pay for their studies,” he told the large gathering.
Another group that the Vice President mentioned is persons with disability (PWDs), whom he underscored will not be left out of this part-time job initiative.
Responding to a question posed by a member of the massive gathering at the UG Tain Campus, he outlined that the government has been supportive of every group of Guyanese. In fact, he pointed to First Lady Arya Ali’s plan to establish a business centre for PWDs, through a recently held fundraiser that raked in more than $13 million.
The brainchild of Mrs. Ali will provide a number of resource opportunities, knowledge and skills needed to increase the capacity of PWDs, to determine their own future and fully participate in community life.
Further, the Vice President underscored that the part-time jobs initiative, that is being made available to Guyanese is a “stop gap measure,” to ease the burden on citizens, which came about due to thousands of jobs lost under the previous administration.