Jobs being created in Guyana - through development A GINA release
Guyana Chronicle
February 11, 2004

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"I was out of a job and right now I am employed with DYWIDAG, and I can maintain my family and save some money," said Godfrey Mc Pherson who hails from Hopetown Village, West Coast Berbice.

He is a heavy-duty operator working on the Mahaica Bridge, an example of jobs being created through development.

A large number of jobs have been created in the areas of housing construction, roads and bridges upgrading and construction.

The spin-off effect of infrastructure development programmes in communities has created employment for thousands.

Multi-million dollar infrastructural projects assist Guyana's movement towards modernisation, growth and prosperity.

Since the PPP/C Administration took Office in 1992, several measures have been taken to enhance and improve the quality of living of Guyanese.

As a result, a conducive economic environment through an investment climate has been created with the drafting of relevant legislations.

The Investment Bill and the Small Business Bill are two of the most recent pieces of Legislation geared for promoting employment in the private sector.

According to the latest available figures on unemployment in Guyana, the rate has been decreasing constantly since the 1970s.

The data shows that Guyana's unemployment rate stands at 11.7 percent, and this is relatively low, compared with the rest of the Caribbean.

The Mahaica/Rosignol Road Rehabilitation project will see 66 kilometres of road being upgraded and widened between the Mahaica Bridge and Rosignol. This project is being executed at a cost of $US22M by a Trinidadian Company, DIPCON Engineering Services.

This Rosignol/Mahaica road project alone has created jobs for approximately 200 people.

Several of the men working on the road have indicated that they are grateful to be employed instead of being on the streets, and many of them have dreams and aspirations.

Gavin Samuel of Buxton Village is happy that instead of being on the streets and getting into trouble - he is actually working.

"This is my first road project and I have gained a lot of experience and I will continue with this line of work," disclosed Samuel.

He provides monetary assistance to his mother and sisters.

Traditionally, people in rural communities in Berbice have been engaged mainly in the agriculture sector.

But Jai Narine from Catherina, drives a tractor that transports sand and other components needed to pitch the road.

He is married and said that the salary is good. He said that he was a rice farmer prior to getting the job with DIPCON and he is satisfied with his present job. Narine also said it is refreshing to see that so many people have gained employment through the road project.

A German company DYWIDAG, is contracted for the bridges project, valued at US$22M. This project entails the upgrading and construction of bridges from Timehri to Rosignol. Several of these bridges have already been completed.

Enhanced economic activities through job creation have several spill-off effects in the various communities.

Clifton Hope, a heavy-duty operator working on the LBI Bridge agrees that with development there will always be more jobs.

"With many Guyanese working we can see a better Guyana in terms of better living conditions."