These were the words of an elated Tenicia Hamilton-Fraser, as she wielded a certificate of achievement in Plumbing, and a trophy for Best Graduating Trainee, setting the foundation for a potential career in the industry.
Hamilton-Fraser was among the 71 Sophia residents who graduated from Board of Industrial Training (BIT) programmes, following a rigorous 16-week marathon of instruction.
The graduates received certificates in the fields of Welding and Fabrication, Plumbing, Information Technology, and Electrical Installation.
Tenicia Hamilton said that in her continuous quest for knowledge, she thought it necessary to explore this avenue to equip herself with a well-rounded education. “It was informative, and a very good experience. I gained both knowledge and a new skill. Things I didn’t even know about plumbing, I know now, so it was fun overall,” she said.
She added that this new knowledge will empower her, as she can utilise it in domestic life.
“One of the reasons I took this opportunity is that sometimes people come to do this kind of work for you and they take advantage, because you don’t know much about it. So, this training prepared me to deal with it. I’m thinking about furthering this certificate at the Technical Institute, and then go into practice,” she said.
For 16-year-old Issac Booker, the training has enabled him to develop a career in plumbing.
“The training was good, I learned a lot. I enjoyed it, and it feels nice to have graduated. I will use this training to find a job, and learn a trade,” he said.
Gavin Sealey commended the government’s resolve in making this programme available for every Guyanese. “My experience was quite welcoming. It taught me a lot in expanding my abilities, and I learned a lot. I would like to use this knowledge to start my own plumbing company so that I will be able to expand my business. I would encourage others to take up this opportunity, because the sky is the limit, because the course is free, and the government is reaching out to all citizens. So, I would encourage them to take this opportunity,” he said.
Another graduate, Adrean Howard, who received his certificate in Welding and Fabrication, said, “The training was very enjoyable. Having graduated, I feel relieved, because I worked so hard to get here. Now, my hard work has paid off. I already signed up for some companies, so I’ve already started the process of using this qualification.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, commended the graduates for overcoming the many challenges that may have stood in their way, as well as taking that valuable step in upskilling themselves.
“Geography must not define you. Let no one tell you they are better than you because of their geographical location,” he said.
He added that this knowledge will serve as sustenance, especially in the midst of the rapid ongoing development in Guyana. He urged graduates to use their qualifications to contribute to the transformation underway.
“Qualifications are not to be boasted about. We get these qualifications so we can serve. You also have to put some innovation into your art.”
This skills training initiative in the community was realised through the collaborative efforts of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr; Minister of Tourism, Oneidge Walrond; Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame Mc Coy; and Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton. (Extracted from the Department of Public Information)