Multi-million youth training programme for Guyana

Guyana Chronicle
April 12, 2001

CONSULTATIONS began earlier this week on a draft Needs Assessment Report for the establishment of a multi-million dollar Youth Training Programme in Guyana which will provide a basis for facilitating sustainable income generation and employment creation among youths.

The key objective of this Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports initiative is to reduce youth unemployment by providing training in entrepreneurship to youths who want to start up a business or who need to expand an existing business, officials said.

It also entails relaxing the credit constraints which are perceived to inhibit youth enterprise development in Guyana.

Consultations on the more than 25-page draft needs assessment report which was prepared by Nosakhere Consultancy Services began Monday at the National Sports Complex auditorium, Carifesta Avenue, Georgetown.

The proposed programme is being done through agreement between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Guyana.

Dr Fred Sukdeo, National Programme Coordinator for CDB projects in Guyana, at the opening of the consultation Monday, said it is proposed that initially the CDB funded pilot Youth Training Project be located in two regions of Guyana.

He said the regions identified are Regions Four and Six.

The pilot phase is intended to last two years and will provide about 25 qualified trainers in Entrepreneurial Skills Development; a training manual for a Youth Training Programme in entrepreneurial training; training resources to be used in conjunction with the manual in preparing youth for business start-up or expansion; a start-up loan facility and loans to existing struggling micro-enterprise.

It also includes training in enterprise skills including marketing and opportunities for men and women to have equal access to disbursed loans.

According to Sukdeo, young people will also be encouraged to participate in the programme regardless of political affiliation, religion, socio-economic status, literacy, being physically challenged and any other characteristics.

The main features of the pilot programme, to be executed for two years, entail developing a pool of approximately 25 community based trainers in entrepreneurial skills.

It is proposed that the 25 trainers will provide modular training to micro-enterprise and unemployed youths (especially skilled youths) who desire training in entrepreneurship.

Other features of this programme are providing continued training to start-ups and existing businesses in need of training; and establishing a resource base with pertinent information on the lessons learnt from the entrepreneurial training and micro-enterprise development.