On 9th April 2021, the Indo-Caribbean Society hosted a webinar on “OIL & GAS—TRAINING, SKILL DEVELOPMENT, AND EMPLOYMENT.”
The panel of speakers consisted of Honorable Minister Vickram Bharrat, Mr. Abriham Daniel, Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters, Ms. Sherry Ferrell, Mrs. Miranda Thakur-Deen, and Mr. Anil.
Mr. Joel Bhagwandin moderated the webinar. Mr. Kishore Kumar then delivered an introduction to the Indo-Caribbean Society. This webinar seeks to educate the stakeholders about the oil & gas industry.
Mr. Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, spoke in detail about the state of the oil & gas industry in Guyana. The country is among the recent petroleum-producing regions worldwide. It drew its first batch of commercial-grade crude oil only in December 2019. Refining of crude oil is done overseas.
He also mentioned how Guyana needs a private sector driven by innovation, ambition, and a passion for success. He added that the development of the oil & gas industry can aid in the holistic development of all other sectors.
As per the panelists, the primary issue plaguing the oil & gas industry of Guyana is the deficit in skilled labor. This deficit is a result of continuous brain drain in the country and upskilling is a possible remedy to addressing the deficit in skilled labor.
Mr. Abriham Daniel suggested that quality training for personnel from Oil & Gas, and other industries can produce plenty of benefits. It can be sustained in the long run if targeted at the individual level, according to Mr. Daniel.
Mr. Daniel also spoke about the American Society for Quality (ASQ) in detail. It is a knowledge-based community of quality professionals dedicated to promoting and advancing quality tools, principles, and practices in their workplaces and communities. He added that personnel with certifications find themselves in organizations that supply goods and services to the oil & gas sector.
Mr. Daniel pointed out that complementing domain knowledge with supplementary knowledge can open doors to a world of opportunities. He also mentioned that with skills in oil & gas, quality inclined training makes an individual’s skills much more solid.
Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters is the director at the Center for Local Business Development, Guyana. She talked about the training and development programs offered by the center to the people of Guyana. She also mentioned that the center’s mandate is to build the capacity of the local Guyanese businesses to improve economic growth.
She highlighted that people of any sector could take part in the training offered by the center. The most important thing about these programs offered by the Center for Local Business Development is that the training is entirely free of cost for Guyanese businesses.
Ms. Sherry Ferrell, the human resources director at El Dorado Offshore, gave a brief overview of the company and its initiative towards upskilling the people of Guyana.
Mr. Anil, the CEO of Nautilus Register Marine Consortium, spoke in detail about the issues in the oil & gas industry worldwide. He pointed out that the primary reason for the sector’s skill deficit is that more skilled personnel are retiring, and comparatively lesser are coming into the industry. He mentions that the skill gap is not an issue that money can solve, and long-term and short-term training programs are the remedies to provide the industry with a skilled workforce.
Mrs. Miranda Thakur Deen, the managing director of Atlantic Ventures Inc (AVI), speaks in detail about the maritime and offshore training institute established to teach seafarers practical skills. She adds that the institute’s courses can bring Guyanese the training they need to work in the offshore and merchant shipping industry. She also clarified that all the courses offered by AVI are certified and are of a high standard. She ended her presentation with a note on AVI’s mission to promote a diverse and inclusive market.
A Q&A session followed the presentation. In this session, Mr. Abriham Daniel and Mrs. Miranda Thakur Deen cleared the air that the courses offered by their respective initiatives consider the economy of Guyana and have adjusted the course fees to the Guyanese market.
The presentation ended with a brief overview of the studies conducted on training and development in Guyana by the Center for Local Business Development by Ms. Natasha Gaskin-Peters.