Guyana’s economy has enough jobs for everyone – President

…“anyone right now who don’t want a job is lazy” – Ali to persons claiming to be unemployed

While there are persons claiming that they are unemployed, President Dr Irfaan Ali is maintaining 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 unemployed.

President Dr Irfaan Ali during the engagement with the Private Sector and civil society at State House

The President made this assertion during a recent engagement with the Private Sector at State House. He noted that even as Guyana continued to grow, the country needed a transitionary labour force — and it was very much in need of workers.
“We’ll meet a point where, because of the growth here and the investment we are making, because of the GOAL (Guyana Online Academy of Learning) scholarship in four years you’ll have 25,000 people now coming out with a degree that expect a higher form of job and a higher salary… that takes us to another part of the equation. Where will the transition labour for the other sectors come from?
“You hear people say they can’t get jobs. I have made it very clear. Anyone right now who don’t want a job is lazy, because there is enough capacity in the system to take off anybody who want a job. And wanting a job is different from having a job you think you don’t want,” the President said.
Ali pointed to examples of the growth in pay alongside the economic growth, such as the increases in pay for construction workers. According to the President, a semi-skilled construction worker has gone from earning an average of US$20 in 2020 to US$30 to now an average of US$40 a day.
“That is a function of demand and supply. A function of the growth of the construction sector. What has happened now is that if you go to every construction site, you will see at least one or two persons say I’ve just come back from Barbados or St Lucia.
“Because now, the skilled and semi-skilled people are finding it attractive to work at this, because they’re back home, they can own their own home, they have greater connection and everything,” he added.
It was only last year that a National Job Bank was launched by the Labour Ministry, paving the way for Guyanese seeking employment to browse potential vacancies available in the country.
Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton had revealed during the launch that with this platform now available, authorities intend to pursue actions to regularise employment agencies. While these agencies will be able to access the information, the Minister contended that it must be done within operating procedures.
Hamilton said 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. The target for 2022 is over 4000 trainees across the country.
Labour Ministry Permanent Secretary Bishram Kuppen had meanwhile added that the design of the job bank took into consideration the needs of employers and job seekers and was structured to allow synergistic interaction between them without the intervention of any third party.
The National Job Bank was initiated as part of a mechanism to address employment and placement of Guyanese. The Minister shared that while the Ministry was training thousands of persons, it must also look at employment mechanisms for these persons to access employment. (G3)