Jamaica wants to supply oil-rich Guyana with skilled workers Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica is considering designing a skills exchange programme to supply Guyana’s labour market with short-term technically skilled personnel.

Minister of Investment, Industry and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill outlined the plan following a recent trade visit to the CARICOM state, which is poised to be one of the world’s biggest oil producers by the end of this decade.

With the expected increase in workforce needs in Guyana, Hill seized the opportunity to highlight the capacity-building potential of HEART NSTA to deliver the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) certification.

He also stressed Jamaica’s ability to supply short-term technically skilled personnel to support the Guyanese expansion.

Guyana’s workforce needs will reach 2.5 million in the next three years, from a population base of 790,000, according to Richard Rambarran, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce.

This presents expansive opportunities for an increased demand for food from which Jamaica’s agribusiness sector and its players could benefit.

There’s also an opportunity to export processed goods, explore joint ventures with Guyanese entities to utilise raw materials and create synergies along the supply chain for the mutual benefit of Jamaica and Guyana, it was revealed in a statement by the island’s investment agency, Jampro.

What’s more, Guyana’s current building boom requires an expansion of the building industry.

Jamaican contractors and developers with access to capital can find opportunities in this expansion, generating financial gains for Jamaica while supporting the infrastructure growth of Guyana, the release also stated.

The possibilities for the building boom are clear – 12 hotels are under construction, one of which is financed by a Jamaican institution and built by a Jamaican contractor.

A total of 20,000 houses are also expected to be built per year over the next few years to support the expected talent influx. In addition, some 700 km of roads are being built, including a major highway to northeast Brazil.

The growing need for capital to finance this building boom is more than the local institutions can provide, opening opportunities for Jamaica’s sophisticated private equity, debt financiers, micro-credit, and stock exchanges to market their products and services, the Jampro release also said.

“The financial services industry in Guyana is replete with opportunities for Jamaican business acumen and financial know-how to thrive. The Jamaican institutions can play a key role in bringing structured financial instruments to Guyana and support the transformation of the sector,” added Hill.

Steven Gooden, CEO of NCB Capital Markets said: “NCB Capital Markets is a firm supporter of regional integration. To this end, we are pleased with the level of discussions that occurred at the recent Jampro Trade Mission to Guyana. It is these partnerships that will help to forge stronger relationships with our Guyanese neighbours and enable collective dialogue that will facilitate enhanced growth and development for both regions. We look forward to continuing conversations on our return with the JAMPRO team.”

President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards stated: “The spirit of collaboration and the opportunities unearthed were excellent and reinforced the need for deeper regional integration as the shared benefits will enhance the region as a whole.”

Conceptualised and led by Hill and organised by JAMPRO, the seven-day mission comprised a Jamaican delegation of 33 private sector and government officials.

JAMPRO arranged over 70 official business-to-business meetings for the Jamaican delegation with Guyanese companies and government agencies. This, with the support and collaboration of sponsor NCB, and key players such as the Guyanese Manufacturing and Services Association (GSMA), the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCC), the Private Sector Council of Guyana and Go-Invest, the Guyanese government’s trade and investment agency.