Investing in apprenticeships reaps rewards

Dear Editor,
Recently, 47 youths from across the country graduated from the Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme (YNR), which is aimed at providing opportunities for young people to experience and learn about this critical sector, and capitalise on job opportunities.
As our PPP/C Government seeks to involve young people and young adults that would have finished CXC, and introduce them into the natural resources’ lifestyle and workplace environment,
The younger generation is full of bright and innovative ideas that are vital to the long-term success and sustainability of any industry.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way to encourage young people and allow them to learn a wide range of skills, in many different environments, pertaining to their interests and career choices.
In the coming years, apprentices would be more critical than ever, thanks to COVID-19. With the disruption that the pandemic has caused to so many industries, including manufacturing, it’s crucial that people be trained and given the opportunity to enter an industry as everything opens up again. And with the rampant unemployment hitting young people the hardest, it’s one of the best ways to help get people into work.
Apprenticeships offer not only training, but improved job prospects; there are many benefits for companies to invest in them. Companies today should strive for innovation and excellence by helping to shape young people’s learning experiences.
As our young people take full advantage of our Government’s 20,000 online scholarship programme, our Government should now encourage businesses to take on apprentices and start apprenticeship programmes. Not only do these programmes provide value to businesses and the economy overall, but they help to reduce the number of young people who are out of work, which is a serious concern at the moment in Guyana.
Apprentices can help give your company the boost you didn’t even know it needed. With an apprentice on hand to take on some of the smaller tasks, it frees up your more experienced staff to concentrate on key areas of work, and spend time on other tasks, making your overall business practices more productive.
Apprentices can also bring fresh approaches to the workplace, and this could have a knock-on effect on existing staff. Their willingness to learn can bring to the company new ideas and a fresh insight that you may not have considered before, allowing your business to benefit from potentially great ideas.
In addition to contributing to the economy with a boost of money and getting Government incentives, apprenticeships are essential to providing an extremely skilled workforce. By involving young people in a company environment and providing hands-on learning from experienced engineers, apprentices would gain skills and experience that would help them succeed in their chosen career paths.
As a former apprentice myself, I realise the importance of offering apprenticeships. Apprentices are truly the future of our companies and businesses, and will make a real difference in our industries.
Apprentices not only help to reduce the skills shortage within our engineering, manufacturing and industrial sectors, as a company, we also benefit from apprentices, as most tend to be loyal, hard-working and motivated.
We need young people to come into our companies; industry and apprenticeships are a great way for them to begin a career.
Our Government’s reward to youths for the future is to mandate companies to establish apprenticeship programmes. I strongly believe that the time and effort spent on investing in apprenticeships reap rewards for the future. I have known of many valued staff who have come through the apprenticeship route I offer, and I wholeheartedly encourage more companies to do the same!

David Adams