MI and College of the North Atlantic partner with Guyana for training
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Two Canadian Educational and Learning Institutions, today, signed a letter of intent and a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to build capacity in the local oil and gas and mining sectors, in Guyana through the Guyana Mining School and Training Centre Inc.

The signing took place in the boardroom of the High Commission of Canada in Georgetown and simultaneously in both Corner Brook and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Representing the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment was the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Joslyn McKenzie and representing the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission was the Commissioner, Mrs. Karen Livan. Signing on behalf of the College of the North Atlantic was the President, Ms. Ann Marie Vaughn and for the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland was the Vice President, Mr. Glenn Blackwood.

High Commissioner of Canada David Devine noted that as Guyana continues on its path to development, Canada stands as a ready partner, especially in areas like the oil and gas sector. Canada has a tremendous resource base of experience and knowledge that we are willing to explore with Guyana.  He stated that he is elated with the events today and hope that a fruitful partnership has been established.

Meanwhile, the Hon. Robert M. Persaud, MBA, MP, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment who was present at the ceremony expressed his appreciation to both institutions in the signing of the respective documents. The Minister stated that since the inception of the Ministry, one of the main tasks through the GGMC has been to support human resources development in the extractive industries so that the people of Guyana can be better equipped with the knowledge of effective mining practices on a world-class level.

The Minister also noted that the potential oil and gas sector will require personnel with specialised skills that are not currently readily available in Guyana and as such the Guyana Mining School and Training Centre Inc., with its partnership programmes will allow for Guyanese to be trained in the various field of oil and gas in the technical practices. Hence, improved training in the new fields of the extractive sectors will allow for better job opportunities for our local people.

The Minister highlighted that Guyana is on a transformative path with the extractive industries and as such, we must be able to channel our resources to the improved levels of education and training for all in these new and specific areas, so that in the long-run our young people and their children can enjoy the greater wealth that is in Guyana's natural resources.

The first, a letter of intent, was inked with College of the North Atlantic (CNA). The letter expresses CNA's intention to explore education and training opportunities for the development and delivery of courses related to mining and oil and gas with educational institutions in Guyana. To facilitate this initiative, CNA has provided a list of training courses to the Guyanese government.

Once priority training areas have been identified to meet immediate needs, a joint action plan will be developed for course implementation. Site visits have already been conducted in both Guyana and Newfoundland; however subsequent infrastructure assessments may be necessary for accurate course implementation.

CNA facilitates training, research and development, delivered to students and trainees through collaborative activities. CNA develops customized training options from a list of over 100 full-time diploma and certificate programs and a comprehensive range of 300 full- and part-time courses. It also builds entirely new programs tailored to fit the training requirements of its clients.

"CNA prides itself in our ability to be responsive to the needs of industry," said Ann Marie Vaughan, CNA's President and CEO. "This ability, combined with our long-standing relationship with the Marine Institute, will ensure that our new partners will receive a world-class curriculum to support development in their oil and gas and mining industries.  This initiative is another example of the strength of Newfoundland and Labrador's post-secondary education system and its commitment to sharing best practices and fostering new partnerships."

The second document signed was a memorandum of understanding with the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. This arrangement provides a framework for advancement of education, training and research and development in Guyana through collaboration between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland for the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Mining School and Training Centre Inc.

"As an institute, we are proud to have helped build our offshore oil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador through our marine education, training and applied research programs. We are looking forward to sharing our experience and capability through this memorandum of understanding with the Government of Guyana to grow their capacity and work force in the natural resources sectors," said Glenn Blackwood, Vice-President, Memorial University (Marine Institute).

Guyana will benefit from collaboration with the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland in the following areas:

  • Marine environment, safety training, ocean technology, offshore oil and gas, fisheries, coastal resources management, and distance delivery opportunities;
  • Create opportunities by which Marine Institute personnel, facilities, and equipment may be used to support Guyana technical vocational education and training, post-secondary education and applied research;
  • Explore opportunities for joint delivery of education and training programs in the oil and gas and mining sectors and to ensure such training meets with recognized standards;
  • Explore opportunities for collaboration in the training of deck and engine room personnel;
  • Develop opportunities for the design and delivery of short industry training courses;
  • Foster closer relationships with local industry, including the oil and gas, marine transportation, ocean technology, and fisheries industries;
  • Explore opportunities for expansion of collaborative arrangements within Guyana, the Caribbean region and internationally.