Clear benchmarks set for companies for hiring Guyanese
Local Content Policy…
– Guyanese must be hired to management at start-up, more hired incrementally
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government has produced a draft Local Content Policy (LCP) which, among other things, has set a number of benchmarks for companies in the oil and gas sector when it comes to hiring a Guyanese workforce.
According to section seven of the document, companies in Guyana must comply with sliding scale targets in the oil and gas sector. For instance, in upstream oil production, which is the stage of oil production and exploration, companies are expected to have a 10 per cent Guyanese workforce in management positions at the startup. This is supposed to be increased to 20 per cent in three years, 25 per cent in five years, 35 per cent in seven years, and 45 per cent in 10 years.
When it comes to supervisory staff, companies are expected to have 15 per cent Guyanese employed at startup, and 25 per cent in three years. This number is expected to be increased to 35 per cent in five years, 50 per cent in seven years, and 65 per cent in 10 years.
The policy proposes that technical staff be composed of 20, 30 and 40 per cent at startup, three-year and five-year intervals. According to the policy, technical core staff should comprise 65 per cent Guyanese in seven years and 75 per cent Guyanese in 10 years.
Meanwhile, the draft policy proposes that professional support staff be made up of 30 per cent Guyanese at startup and, in 10 years, this must be increased to 80 per cent Guyanese; while for semi-skilled, it proposes 50 per cent Guyanese at startup and 90 per cent in 10 years.
The policy proposes that the unskilled labour force be made up of 100 per cent Guyanese from start to finish.
The policy also sets out targets that companies would have to adhere in hiring Guyanese at the mid and downstream stages of oil and gas production. This is the stage where crude oil and natural gas are stored and transported, and even includes the stage where natural gas is used for generating power, a direction in which Guyana is heading with the gas-to-shore project.
According to the policy, 20 per cent of management staff at this stage should be Guyanese, while this should be increased to 30 per cent in three years, 35 per cent in five years, 45 per cent in seven years and 50 per cent in 10 years.
Supervisors should be 25 per cent Guyanese at startup, which would be increased to 70 per cent in 10 years. When it comes to the technical core staff, there should be 30 per cent Guyanese at startup, and 80 per cent in 10 years.
Professional support staff would, meanwhile, have to be 35 per cent Guyanese at startup and 90 per cent in 10 years, while semi-skilled staff would be 60 per cent local at startup and 100 per cent in 10 years. Again, the unskilled would be 100 per cent Guyanese throughout.
The policy is currently being subjected to consultations, which opened at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Monday. Consultations are expected to remain open for the next month. Persons would be able to submit their views either at the forum or online, where they would be seen by policy makers.
Several Government Ministers and officials, along with Private Sector representatives, were at Monday’s consultation, including President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Mark Phillips. The idea of consultation of the LCP is in keeping with the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic’s (PPP/C) Manifesto before entering Government.