Growing partnerships in Guyana

George Brown College continues to explore workforce development opportunities in the Caribbean. 

“As a student, I learned using multiple technologies — from a slate and paper to a mainframe computer and mobile phones. That's the past. Imagine if the future will look anything like that?” 

That was one of the insights shared by George Brown College President Dr. Gervan Fearon with students, faculty, and administrators at the University of Guyana earlier this month. The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Paloma Mohamed, invited him to deliver the keynote address. Dr. Fearon discussed the impacts of technological change on the future of work and education and how academic institutions can prepare a resilient workforce through responsive curriculum and research to drive future economic growth and prosperity. 

“Economic growth is going to be driven by technology and knowledge — it won't happen otherwise. Colleges and universities play a pivotal role in making sure that technology ‘doesn't sit on the shelf’ and that the workforce has the training and capacity to use technology to contribute to positive economic change.” 

His talk was part of a larger initiative to explore new partnership opportunities in the mainland Caribbean nation with the university and the Government of Guyana. Guyana has one of the fastest-growing economies globally, with a rate of over 30 per cent since 2022, and it is using this growth to support greater education and training opportunities for its citizens. The president was joined by GBC colleagues, including Dr. Adel Esayed, Dean of the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies.  

The GBC delegation toured the university’s Early Childhood Centre of Excellence, which is a member of the International Association of Laboratory Schools. In 2023, GBC’s School of Early Childhood partnered with the centre to deliver an in-depth, nine-week training seminar on inclusive, play-based pedagogy for their supervisors and early childhood education practitioners. 

The Guyanese government has also set a transformative goal of delivering 20,000 post-secondary scholarships in key areas including the skilled trades and construction. Last year, GBC was the first North American academic institution to partner with the Guyana Online Academy of Learning to provide a technician certification program to advance manufacturing automation for Guyanese industries.  

GBC in the Caribbean 

GBC has developed education, business and government relationships in the Caribbean for over 30 years to help prepare students for the global workforce. International experiences and cultural competencies help to increase labour market capacity and competitiveness. GBC has active partnerships in Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia and Guyana, and is a member of the Canada Caribbean Institute, a network of university and college scholars who are engaged on economic, environmental and social issues that contribute to both regions’ prosperity. 

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GBC delegation in Guyana, March 2024

George Brown College President Dr. Gervan Fearon shared insights on the intersections between the future of education and work with economic growth at the University of Guyana on March 15, 2024. He was invited by the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Paloma Mohamed (left of Dr. Fearon). 

GBC delegation standing in front of University of Guyana Early Childhood Centre of Excellence

George Brown College delegates visited the University of Guyana’s Early Childhood Centre of Excellence in March 2024. In 2023, GBC partnered with the centre to deliver an in-depth training seminar on inclusive, play-based pedagogy for the centre’s supervisors and ECE practitioners.