A total of 1000 residents of the Upper Demerara-Berbice Region (Region 10), on Saturday signed their contracts for part-time jobs, while 200 small business owners received grants to the tune of $250,000 to aid in the expansion of their businesses. This was facilitated at the Watooka Guest House, where Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo explained that the official roll out is a fulfilment of a promise made back in March at an outreach. The initiative aimed at easing the burden of the rising cost of living for households. One person per household benefited. Employment will last up to six months and employees are expected to earn $40,000 monthly for 10 days of work. They are expected to commence in the new week.
“So it’s going to be about 8,000 to 10,000 of our people hired through this initiative. They will get $40,000 a month for 10 days of work.
“It’s not free money, you have to work, but you don’t have to go into fields etc. Because we need a lot of people to assist in the hospitals. We need some persons in the libraries in our schools. We can place people in different agencies so they are doing productive work,” the VP said.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the programme as a stepping stone for permanent employment and to even pursue tertiary education through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships.
In addition to the temporary employment, 200 residents signed up to benefit from small business grants valuing $250,000 each.
VP Jagdeo said the intention is not only to render assistance, but also work with the small business owners, providing guidance in different aspects for them to become successful. Follow up exercises will be done to ensure the funds are used for the purpose intended.
The grants initiative represents a $50 million investment in the region.