CLBD seeing “immense success” with non-oil training, programmes

As it continues to prepare local businesses to enhance their competitiveness to operate in Guyana’s growing economy, the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) is seeing immense success with its programmes in areas outside of the oil and gas sector.
The CLBD assists Guyanese companies to better understand and access opportunities across a wide variety of business sectors including the oil and gas sector and related industries by improving their overall competitiveness.
Presently, the Centre offers awareness training in the oil and gas sector as well as others. It also provides training on health and safety, and procurement. There is also business training from QuickBooks to financial management, human resource management and cash flow training.
In addition, CLBD has mentorship programmes ranging from health and safety to project management along with a cash flow training course.
Director of the CLBD, Natasha Gaskin-Peters, during a recent interview with Guyana Times explained that the Centre’s membership includes a wide cross-section of businesses across the country since the oil and gas sector pulls from almost every sector in the country – from construction to logistics to transportation to agriculture.
“So, that remains in terms of building capacity because as our economy grows, we know that these sectors also become very important and it’s also important that they are competitive within their space. So, we will continue to offer trainings to all Guyanese businesses… our mandate is around inclusive growth and really building the competitiveness of all businesses across all sectors to ensure inclusive economic growth in the country,” she noted.
According to Gaskin-Peters, the CLBD continues to primarily support small and medium-size enterprises as well as sole-trader entities.
She noted that with the growth of the Guyanese economy, there is an increase in registration by businesses from non-oil sectors such as construction and logistics onto the CLBD portal. The Director said these companies are taking advantage of the trainings which enable them to get to international standard and make them more competitive.
“So, whether it’s building a project management system or building a health and safety management system, these trainings have been enabling the business to be more competitive through documentation, which we know in the country has been a challenge. So, that documentation has been helping these companies especially through the procurement process but also to better manage their business,” the CLBD Head said.
Currently, the Centre has over 6000 businesses registered and only about one-third are actively involved in the oil and gas sector. Additionally, the CLBD is expected is graduate 40-plus companies that would have a Health and Safety Management System in place. Previously, the Centre had only managed to graduate just about 55 overall.
“So, it has been immense in terms of the success. The feedback has constantly been positive so we have businesses come to say I’ve built a health and safety system and now I have a contract with the IDB [Inter-American Development Bank] or now I have a Government contract or now I have a contract in oil and gas. So, it has been quite wide-ranging because the documentation and the systems are very crucial for work in almost all sectors now,” Gaskin-Peters stated.
The Centre Director went on to note that the increased registration sees businesses from whatever economic sectors is thriving, for example, construction.
“Construction is certainly one of those areas but also there are others. So, even in the areas of agro-processing and agriculture, that is a sector that also continues to strive. Logistics, very important sector, and even transportation is also moving. So, we continue to see growth almost across all sectors as a result of the oil and gas sector. Also, some of the technical areas like welding and fabricating companies – they have been experiencing a growth in terms of the opportunities that are there also. So, health and safety systems, project management systems as well as quality management systems have certainly aided those companies in continuing to win work in oil and gas, in mining as well as other sectors,” Gaskin-Peters said.