2000 Guyanese to benefit from free IT training, guaranteed jobs

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
2000 Guyanese youths will benefit from a post-secondary training in digital technology

The Guyana Government has launched the One Guyana Digital Initiative, which will see some 2000 young Guyanese, in this first phase, benefitting from free tertiary education in Informational Technology (IT) and guaranteed jobs following the completion of their training.

The initiative aims to bring world-class international institutions to Guyana to train Guyanese youths to become qualified computer programmers, software developers and technology experts thus preparing them for life-long well-paying careers. It is also geared towards the creation of a near-sourcing industry in Guyana.

In collaboration with the Toronto Metropolitan University, this programme will offer high-value and cutting-edge courses for participants including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create codes.

Speaking at the launch this afternoon at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), President Dr Irfaan Ali highlighted that of the 2000 beneficiaries of this initiative, more than 60 per cent are women.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

“This is living empowerment. This is practising empowerment. This is what you call structural and institutional mechanism to facilitate empowerment, facilitate the growth and development of all genders,” he stated.

Importantly too, the Guyanese Leader outlined, is that 20 per cent of the participants registered for this programme are indigenous students.

According to the Head of State, the core of what his administration is doing to transform Guyana lies in the equal advancements of the country’s people.

“This biggest aspect of the transformation agenda is the human resource transformation because everything can transform but if the human asset does not transform in the way we think, act, behave [and] in the way we structure our output then we will not achieve the potential of full transformation,” President Ali noted.

With this training programme being free of cost, it would have incurred an expense of some $4 billion. However, the Guyanese Leader noted that government was able to negotiate a reduction of the cost with the Toronto Metropolitan University, hence, he urged the beneficiaries to make good use of this opportunity.

“My dear young people, you have an opportunity like never before. It is yours to destroy. It is yours to cherish and it is yours to accomplish. Many countries would love to have this opportunity, don’t take it for granted. Don’t take what would have been an investment of $4 billion in your education for granted. Take this seriously,” President Ali implored.

The Guyana Government is covering the tuition costs for these participants of the One Guyana Digital Initiative with assistance from the Canadian Government.

Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen,

In fact, during the launch, Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, Ahmed Hussen, announced his government’s contribution of up to CAD 9.5 million into the One Guyana Digital Initiative.

According to the Minister, this innovative skills training programme will help launch young Guyanese in fulfilling careers in the emerging digital skills technology sector.

Minister Hussen also lauded the Guyana Government for the inclusionary nature of this initiative – something which he noted the Canadian Government is big on.

“It is really important for us to give credit to the fact that the One Guyana Digital Initiative is committed to ensuring that there will be gender parity between young men and young women in this project. The One Guyana Digital Initiative will also make sure that it includes representation from a diverse cross-section of Guyanese communities including young people, indigenous peoples and peoples from remote parts of Guyana,” he noted.

In addition to investing in youth skills development, the Canadian Minister said this initiative is also forward-looking in that it will also fight unemployment and reduce poverty.

The One Guyana Digitial Initiative will be headed by Guyanese-born Canadian, Mark Itwaru – the Chief Executive Officer of a major corporate IT consulting firm in Canada, Riavera Corporation.

It will feature participants from all 10 Regions across Guyana. Each qualified participant of the One Guyana Digital Initiative will be given a programmer-grade laptop during their training.

Following the completion of this training programme, all participants will be guaranteed employment with companies operating in Guyana including in the burgeoning oil and gas sector as well as those in foreign countries, earning approximately US$2000 per month.