The Board of Industrial Training (BIT) on Thursday drew the curtains on graduations for the 2736 persons trained during the year.
The last graduation ceremony was held at Kamarang for 69 residents of Kamarang, Kako and Waramadong.
The youths and single parents of the three communities were trained in various trades, including Home Economics, Information Technology, Clerical Services, Health Services and Engineering as well as Teacher Aide.
Speaking at the ceremony at the Kamarang Primary School, Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai urged the graduates to capitalise fully on the initiative by BIT, and to use it as a stepping stone for further development. She told them that their skill and how they use it will influence development.
She commended them for staying the course in spite of challenges and urged that they think of starting their own businesses to create not only employment for themselves, but other youth as well.
The Minister pointed out that Government is emphasising education and training because these are critical to the development of human resources.
She also noted that Government started BIT in 2005 with $10 million and this year the budget touched $200 million. Also commending the graduands was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Patrick Findlay, who told them that learning and self-improvement are critical because "once you learn, no one can take it from you".
Several village leaders, including Toshaos from the beneficiary villages expressed appreciation for the programme being extended to residents of these areas.
In 2014, BIT trained 100 persons in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 349 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 641 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), 343 in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), 907 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), 138 in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), 83 in Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo), and 175 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). Of these, 434 were single parents.