GOAL and George Brown College partner to launch PLC programme for manufacturing sector in Guyana
The Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) and George Brown College (GBC), one of Canada’s leading experiential learning institutions, are launching the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Technician Certificate Programme for manufacturing companies in Guyana. The Government of Guyana, through GOAL, will manage the programme. PLC training is crucial for industrial automation, helping to enhance efficiency and reduce costs by providing seamless control and monitoring of machinery and processes.
An inaugural cohort of 43 practitioners has been selected by their employers to participate in this programme. GBC’s key priorities include engaging and building international connections that contribute to skills development and a better future for learners. The training began in August 2023 and allows manufacturing practitioners in Guyana to learn and receive instructional support from GBC’s dedicated online student support centre. The programme provides theory and hands-on experience on PLC systems through simulation labs and computer-based testing. It will also cover essential manufacturing industry topics, including PLC hardware and software, ladder logic programming, fundamental troubleshooting techniques, system integration, and machinery maintenance.
The partnership between the GOAL and GBC demonstrates a strong commitment to investing in human capital in Guyana. It is in line with the commitment of His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Executive President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, to award 20,000 online scholarships that will give Guyanese the opportunity to enhance their skills and academic qualifications through online learning. “Therefore, by introducing the PLC technical programme, we aim to bridge the skills gap in our manufacturing industry, giving individuals the necessary competencies to operate, troubleshoot, and maintain PLC systems efficiently. This initiative creates new job opportunities and raises Guyana's industrial sector to global standards, increasing its competitiveness,” President Ali stated.
His Excellency urged participants to “seize this opportunity with dedication,” emphasizing that the skills acquired from this certification will enhance their career prospects and contribute to the nation's technological advancement. In addition, he applauded Professor Jacob Opadeyi, the Director of GOAL, for his exceptional ability to establish partnerships with international institutions and work with the private sectors in Guyana in line with the government's objective of nurturing a skilled workforce.
Hon. Sonia Parag, Minister of Public Service, Government of Guyana, who is responsible for all government scholarships, said this training opportunity will equip employees with the skills needed to excel in the field of industrial automation. “The programme marks a significant milestone in our commitment to providing quality technical education to our students and represents our government's unwavering commitment to advancing technical education and fostering a skilled workforce. Together, let us embrace the future and build a prosperous nation,” she said.
“The use of advanced technology and machinery is revolutionizing the workforce, which is why George Brown College is thrilled to collaborate with GOAL to launch the PLC Technician program,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President of GBC. “The partnership is committed to equipping students in Guyana with the skills and knowledge they need to enter the rapidly growing industrial automation and control sector and to further contribute to the industry’s overall efficiency and success.”
“Canada is a known leader in the education sector globally, and this collaboration showcases another aspect of the Canada-Guyana relationship. It is a recognition of the excellent online education provided to students and workers by George Brown College. This partnership also demonstrates the ability of Canadian institutions to customize their curriculums with expert educators to meet workforce needs in Canada, Guyana and abroad. I hope to see more initiatives like this one in the near future,” said H.E. Mark Berman, High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana.
“The partnership reflects the vision of GOAL, which is shared and supported by GOAL and GBC, that is, to empower individuals and drive economic growth through education and skills development,” said Minister of Education for the Government of Guyana, Hon. Priya Manickchand. Creating a talented pool of PLC technicians will help contribute to the growth and development of the country’s industries, she said. “The PLC Technical Programme is a step in that direction. Our goal is to produce graduates who are not only proficient in using PLCs but also possess problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and a strong work ethic.”