Women can bridge gap as demand grows in local workforce – CLBD Director

– says study shows 53,000 workers needed in next 5 years

The Director of the Center for Local Business Development (CLBD) Dr Natasha Gaskin-Peters on Friday stated that in the next five years’ Guyana will need some 53,000 workers to support various sectors.
This, she noted, was derived from the Guyana Labor Assessment study which was conducted by the CLBD in collaboration with the University of Guyana, Greater Guyana Initiative, and several key government agencies.
One of the findings is that Guyana will need 53,000 workers to support various sectors such as oil and gas, construction, transportation, and agriculture in the coming years.

Director of CLBD Natasha Gaskin-Peters

One of the measures identified to alleviate the demand is to import labour but Peters noted that along with this, Guyanese must take advantage of the training programs that are available while hinting that women can also fill the gap.
“We need 53,000 plus new workers and that’s only across five sectors that we looked at and they are 22 sectors, so I think in addition to the importation of labour, we also have to ensure that we train our Guyanese folks. We still have quite a lot of women that are within the unpaid work even though we have made significant progress,” she stated.
Peters highlighted that by empowering these women, the labour gap can be significantly reduced emphasising the need for women to branch out into more unconventional sectors such as construction.
She nevertheless, added that the government will need to continuously support these women by putting systems in place to allow them to access the job market.
“It is very important that we continue as a nation to invest in our women because of the positive outcomes that it has and we don’t want our women to still be caught up in sectors that go unpaid and the informal sector so we have taken this on board as a nation…. I know that there are several policies right now that are addressing issues about training more women.”

Some women currently in the oil and gas sector

Currently, she added that the government has rolled out several training initiatives as well as child support services but noted that broadening these services will help more women to smoothly transition into the workforce which will reduce the need for the importation of labour.
Additionally, Peters explained that the CLBD in collaboration with The Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG) will be rolling out its third edition of the “Accelerate Her” Programme.
This programme was developed to help women build their capacity in the sector that they are currently employed while also helping them to grow their businesses and transition into some of these technical areas.
“This programme targets women but women who have businesses because again that plays a very important role. What I find with women, is that a lot of them are challenged as it pertains to their confidence and public speaking and this programme will really help them and we see these women flourish,” Peters noted.
The programme is expected to be rolled out in June. Persons will be able to apply within two weeks.