Jagdeo raps Jordan over employment remarks

first_imgFinance MinisterWinston JordanOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has taken Finance Minister Winston Jordan to task over recent remarks on unemployment in Guyana.Last week, the Finance Minister flagged Guyanese for crying foul over the lack of job opportunities when foreign nationals are coming here and getting jobs. He made this remark while at a press conference hosted by the PNCR – the largest party in the APNU fraction of the Coalition government.Jordan had opined that Guyanese are demanding high wages hence jobs often goes to those foreigners who are willing to accept lesser salaries.“When you say they are no job, I’ve seen Venezuelans and I’ve seen Cubans, I’ve seen Brazilians, I’ve seen Nigerians and I’ve seen Haitians now getting jobs in Guyana – a country that supposedly don’t have jobs or you hear a lot of young people say, they ain’t got jobs. I’m not speaking lies, you have Haitian Carpenters, Brazilians carpenters and plumbers and so on. So there must be jobs, the question is whether the job is paying what you want it to pay. For these (foreign) people yes, for some of the natives no,” Jordan had said last Friday.However, this statement did not go down well with Jagdeo when he was asked about the Minister’s utterance at his weekly press conference on Wednesday.“Is this the government’s policy that we must allow immigrants to come in to undercut the labour market. I hope the TUC (Guyana Trades Union Congress) hears this, that we must undercut Guyanese who are working… He’s saying that bringing in immigrants here, because they work for cheaper, would be beneficial to the economy so that they can undercut Guyanese labourers because they work for less wages than they do. So, our people must not get employment or they must lower their wages to match those of the immigrants who are coming in to work,” he stated.According to the Opposition Leader, this position by a Senior Government Minister is especially shocking.“If this is the justification of this government, then I don’t know. It’s shocking for me personally because I thought our aim is to first of all to look out for our Guyanese people and to ensure that progressively, they get better paying jobs and more jobs – not to try to bring in people to undercut their salaries. This is a shocking revelation to me, this is unbelievable. Do these people think before they speak (about) what they want for?” Jagdeo posited.Recent figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has estimated youth unemployment in Guyana to be almost 23 percent. To further compound this, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has found that 80 percent of prosecuted crimes here are committed by youths between the ages of 19 and 29.However, a new Guyana Labour Force Survey in 2018 had found that the unemployment rate here to be 12% in the third quarter of 2017, with high disproportions of both women and youth.The survey was first of its kind in Guyana in recent years and highlighted that unemployment during that period was 37,119. This figure includes 15.3% of eligible females against 9.9% of eligible males, and 21.6% of youth aged 15 to 24 and 28% of young women.It was also found that the total resident population, aged 15 and above, was 550,831 with the total employed population being 271,068. Of that figure, 166,873 or 62% being males and 104,195 or 38% being females with jobs.Moreover, the survey further confirmed “a marked disadvantage for women” in the labour market with the proportion of women in managerial positions recorded at 37.8%.Additionally, a “worrisome labour market situation of youth” was also highlighted, showing the proportion of youth not in education, employment, or training (NEETs). This was recorded at 35.2% and is higher for young women with 63% percent of the total number of NEETs.Nevertheless, the Finance Minister during his remarks last Friday had posited that more jobs are expected to be created directly and indirectly from the budding oil and gas industry. However, he posited that these jobs will require skills.“So we have to go and prepare, and don’t wait for local content legislation. If the petroleum industry requires 200 skilled artisans, they will take artisans if they’re available in Guyana. So, you don’t need local content for that… You need to take advantage of the numerous free courses that are being mounted by various institutions to get you educated and skilled,” the Finance Minister asserted.Only Wednesday, 79 young Guyanese graduated from a nine-month technical and vocation skills training initiative. The programme, funded by USAIDS’ Community, Family and Youth Resilience (CFYR) initiative, aims to strengthen opportunities for at-risk youth between the ages of 16 – 29 years to become more marketable and successful in joining the work force.The ‘Workforce Development Programme’ was designed in a holistic approach, empowering youths with soft and hard skills, and then placing them in employment. During the program, the participants took and completed courses in data operations; electrical installation and motor vehicle repairs.Opposition LeaderBharrat Jagdeolast_img read more


first_imgMajella O’Donnell is set to give a ‘searingly moving’ account of her life so far in a tell-all new book, her publishers have announced.She will tell of the break-up of her first marriage, her fights with depression and later cancer and her life now with singer and husband Daniel.It’s All in the Head: My Story, charts her life story. The book will be released on October 9 by UK publishers Simon & Schuster just two weeks after her sister in law Margo O’Donnell launches her biography.Majella covers her decision to have her head shaved for cancer charities on the Late Late Show.“It was a public declaration from a private woman, a statement of enormous courage in her fight against breast cancer,” according to her publishers.Majella’s publishers promise readers a compelling story about “a woman who has learned about life the hard way, but who, with the love and support of her family, husband Daniel, and the public by her side has come through with a force of character and a deep-seated determination that will inspire us all”. Yesterday Daniel and Majella jointly undertook the Ice Bucket Challenge at The Irish Fiddler pub in Tenerife, making donations to both motor neurone and cancer services in Ireland. Daniel nominated Irish singer Dominic Kirwan, while Majella nominated Noeleen Murphy of the Irish Fiddler pub. MAJELLA SET TO RELEASE ‘SEARINGLY MOVING’ BIOGRAPHY was last modified: September 13th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:biographyMajella O’Donnelllast_img read more

Scientists want to help restore Notre Dame hoping to make new discoveries

first_img A month after the fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, scientists and research bodies are getting organized to help restore the building—and advance scientific knowledge.At a public hearing held yesterday by France’s Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options (OPECST), academics explained how they can contribute to the government’s efforts to restore the cathedral, which was partly destroyed on 15 April.“This catastrophe is, in the end, a privileged moment for research, because we’ll have access to materials that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to access,” said Martine Regert, deputy scientific director of the Institute of Ecology and Environment at the French national research agency CNRS in Paris. For example, analyzing certain isotopes in the cathedral’s timber frame could provide insights about the medieval climate, said Philippe Dillmann, a research leader at CNRS’s Institute for Research on Archeomaterials. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img “There are different levels of science: Some will help the restoration itself, some will serve our future knowledge of Notre Dame, and some will serve more generally our understanding of the behavior of certain materials,” explained Aline Magnien, director of the Laboratory for the Restoration of Historical Monuments in Champs-sur-Marne, France.Some initiatives have emerged from the bottom up, such as the association Scientists at the service of the restoration of Notre-Dame. Founded by six academics eager to help, it now has more than 200 members in many different disciplines—from art history to geophysics, to archaeology and mechanics—mostly from France, but also from abroad. On the association’s website, members publish brief, lay summaries on specific issues, such as 3D modeling of the cathedral and historic fires at other medieval cathedrals. The association also pairs scientists with decision-makers and journalists seeking specific information and enables informal exchanges between scientists. Collaborative program ideas emerge “with disconcerting ease,” said the association’s president, Arnaud Ybert, a historian of medieval art at the University of Western Brittany in Brest, France.Other efforts try to channel scientists’ enthusiasm from the top down. On 20 May, CNRS announced the creation of a Notre Dame task force, led by Regert and Dillmann. With police still present on-site to investigate the causes of the fire, the task force now helps define how to gather and sort materials from the cathedral so that no scientific information is lost, using technologies such as photogrammetry, remote sensing, and drones, Regert said. The task force is also beginning an inventory of existing knowledge and data about the cathedral at CNRS and in other institutions, some of it unpublished and scattered across different formats and media. “Our role is to take stock and gather everything so that we don’t start from a blank page,” Regert said. In the long term, the project aims to identify priority themes and coordinate research across a broad spectrum of disciplines, avoiding duplication, she said, adding that this effort would require money and staff.Some institutions have already earmarked resources for Notre Dame research. For example, the Ile-de-France region’s research network on heritage and ancient materials, together with CNRS and the ministry of culture, will launch a special call for regional research projects, said Loïc Bertrand, one of the network’s coordinators. (He didn’t say how much funding would be available.)Bertrand, who also leads IPANEMA, a research lab in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, dedicated to the high-tech study of heritage materials, added that France’s SOLEIL synchrotron has offered Notre Dame–related proposals a priority ticket to the facility’s 5% of “rapid access” beam time. For example, the research facility could help understand the effects of atmospheric pollution, fungi, and bacteria on materials such as metals, ceramics, wood, and composite materials.The OPECST hearing took place a few days before the Senate examines a controversial draft bill for the restoration of Notre Dame, which French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to complete within 5 years. The bill sets up a national fund to gather donations with exceptionally high tax rebates; it also foresees the creation of a public body to oversee the restoration and allows the government to bypass rules in areas such as public procurement, city planning, and environmental protection. Critics have accused Macron of grandstanding and mistrusting his own institutions, urging him instead to carry out the work at a reasoned pace, within existing rules and organizations. Notre Dame Cathedral’s altar after the April fire. Scientists have started an association to help with the restoration process. By Tania RabesandratanaMay. 24, 2019 , 12:45 PM Philippe Lopez/Pool via REUTERS last_img read more