Closed sugar estates: Govt moves to reopen Rose Hall Estate

…conducting massive recruitment drive on Thursday

In one of their most decisive steps towards reopening the Rose Hall Sugar Estate, which was shuttered under the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, the current Administration has announced a massive recruitment drive to get workers back to the estate.

The Rose Hall Estate

On Monday, it was announced that a massive recruitment drive will be conducted in the estate compound, located in Rose Hall, Berbice, from Thursday. The recruitment exercise will be for various categories of field and factory workers.
Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) acting Head of Human Resources, Vemen Walters described the exercise as the biggest recruitment exercise the corporation has ever conducted.
“This exercise is the largest one thus far to be undertaken as GuySuCo intensifies its activities both in field and factory at the Rose Hall Estate for the commencement of sugar production in the second harvesting and sugar production season of 2022. The corporation is hoping to attract more than 200 applicants from this exercise,” Walters said in a statement on Monday.
GuySuCo will be recruiting anyone between the ages 18 and 59 years, who is desirous of joining the industry as persons were encouraged to apply in person on Thursday.
It was further announced that the management of GuySuCo will be providing free transportation using lorries which will leave No 19 Village, Gangaram, Lochaber and Highbury, respectively, at 07:00h on July 22, 2021.
“Applicants are asked to present their birth certificate and national ID card or passport at the time of their application. Further, persons selected will be subjected to a pre-medical examination,” a statement from GuySuCo said.

Special initiative
It was only last week that Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had announced that a “special initiative” would be announced in the near future that focuses on bringing benefits to the thousands of ex-sugar workers who were dismissed under the APNU/AFC regime.
Some 7000-plus sugar workers were placed on the breadline after the APNU/AFC Administration downsized the industry and shut down four estates across the country. Many of those workers have not been able to secure permanent jobs and remain on the breadline years later.
However, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), during the 2020 election campaign trail, had promised to reopen those estates and rehire those sacked workers. During an interview last week with a social media commentator, Jagdeo pointed out that Government has not forgotten this promise. In fact, he disclosed that he will soon be meeting with those former sugar workers on this.
“We remember our pre-election promise and soon, I’ll be meeting with [the ex-sugar workers]. There is a special initiative that we’re working on for the 7000 workers who were laid off. Soon I’ll be meeting with them to explain more about this initiative… We intend to fulfil our promises,” the Vice President had indicated.
Back in 2016, the former APNU/AFC Government closed the Wales Estate, and the following year, shut down the Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates, putting over 7000 sugar workers on the breadline. The downsizing of the sugar industry resulted in only the Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion Estates in operation.
However, since the PPP/C Administration assumed office in August 2020, they have been putting systems in place to reopen the Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates. Due to the deteriorating state of the Wales factory, that estate will be converted into the Wales Development Authority – an industrial facility that will see the development of not only agriculture but agro-industries, processing facilities, manufacturing and other sectors to drive economic activities.
Additionally, Government, through the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has already moved to rehire over 700 sugar workers.