A few days after 20 employees attached to the St John’s Ambulance Brigade in Linden were sent home because the organization’s contract with the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) was not renewed, 21 Linden youths are now added to the list of unemployed, after their services were terminated from the National Data Management Authority (NDMA). On Friday, officials from the organization met with the youths who were trained under the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) programme in Information Communication Technology (ICT), to inform them that their services have become redundant.
In a correspondence sent to the youths, which was seen by this media house, it stated that the project for which their services were required has been completed and that there is no other project at this time in which they services can be used for. “As a result, we regret to inform you, that your engagement as a Data Entry Clerk with the NDMA will cease as of February 5th 2021,” the correspondence stated. It also informed them that they will be considered for re-engagement once the organization secures other projects.
With Linden having a high unemployment rate and with the atmosphere in the town still filled with anger following the unemployment of the St John’s staff, residents and regional officials have called out those responsible for further adding to the unemployment rate in Linden.
Regional Chairman Deron Adams, who played an instrumental role two years ago in ensuring the youths secured training from BIT, to make them qualifiable for such a job, has expressed his disappointment with the decision made and believes that it could have been handled differently. “It is a sad day for youth services across Region 10 and Guyana, over 100 families on the bread line,” Adams said in a Facebook post.
This publication reached out to two of the youths who were affected and they expressed their frustration over the issue. “Right now I am pregnant and am now out of a job. Linden already does not have any jobs. Where will we go now? I have been working here for over two years. All I can do is pray that something happens before my child comes,” one Data Entry Clerk said.
“The thing is, it was done without little notice, without care and without conscience, just like that to fire us and then say there is no work for us. In our field you can always create work for us, technology is never ending and if we are moving to become a digital nation, why say there is no work for us,” another for employee said.
Added to this, 24 staff permanent staff members attached to the Bertram Collins Public Service Training College were layed off on Friday, since the Government decided to end the operations of the college.