Govt looking to incentivise more job creation outside of city – Finance Minister

…says employers must explore ways of reaching more job seekers

As part of its efforts to not only increase, but to diversify job creation, Senior Minister in the Office for the President with Responsibility for Finance and Public Service Dr Ashni Singh has revealed that the government is working to incentivise more job creation in areas outside the city.
Dr Singh made this disclosure during a recent workshop, where he acknowledged that there is a heavy concentration of jobs in the city and, in particular, around the mouth of the Demerara River and other areas in Region Three and Four.
“Apart from what we are doing in government to promote training, we recognise too that there isn’t an even dispersion of the jobs that are being created, geographically. So, there’s a far heavier concentration of jobs being created around the mouth of the Demerara River essentially. West Demerara and Georgetown and East Bank Demerara.”

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh

“For that reason, we are working diligently to create and incentivise the creation of jobs outside of Georgetown. So that more people outside of Georgetown can work. So, I urge you as employers to ask yourselves the following questions,” Dr Singh said.
The finance minister noted that during his community meetings, many persons describe their challenges in seeking jobs. According to the minister, issues such as access to information has to be addressed.
“What can you do, to be able to attract more persons into work? While you describe the challenge of not being able to retain people, I still go to communities where I am told there are people looking for jobs. And I have formed the conclusion that there are a number of issues that have to be addressed, including better information on the labour market.”
Dr Singh noted that while there are people looking for work, there is a disconnect that causes these unemployed persons and recruiters not to meet. As such, he noted that both employers and the government have to do more to sensitise persons on job opportunities.
“You will have over 10,000 persons leaving fifth form at the end of this month, looking for jobs. Some will go on to higher education, some will go on to look for jobs. And I have often asked myself the question, is there more we can do to ensure these young people know what the job opportunities are out there?”

“Can we do more, as government and employers, to improve awareness of the job opportunities that are available? You can do things like job fairs, awareness, using social media that is more accessible to job seekers. And can we do more to create jobs, where there are persons looking for work?”
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government had set itself the task of creating 50,000 jobs within its first term in office. And indeed, both President Dr Irfaan Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo have said that this 50,000 jobs goal has been achieved since the party assumed the reins of government in 2020.
But while there are persons claiming that they are unemployed, President Ali has also said that not only is Guyana on a trajectory of constant growth that would provide even more higher-paying jobs, but the current economic growth has already opened up enough job opportunities for the number of people who are still unemployed.
Last year, Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton had said that the Board of Industrial Training, which was training 1300 to 1500 individuals per year, saw this number increase to 2000 just a few months after Government took office. In 2021, the number further increased by 50 per cent with 3068 persons trained.
Then there is the part time job initiative, which has so far given employment to thousands. It was announced last year that over 11,000 persons were employed through the programme in Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); Five (Mahaica-Berbice); Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), injecting $2.3 billion into these households since the programme started in the second half of 2022. (G3)