The Department of Energy continues to engage stakeholders across the country to ensure that they obtain a good understanding of the opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship both within the petroleum sector and in other fields.Director of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe at the Calvary Temple Church in Retrieve, LindenSome of the young people at the Guyana Youth for Tomorrow (GYFT) symposiumDuring a series of stakeholder engagements, Director of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe noted that while job opportunities abound, training, skills building, certification and competency are critical to capitalise on them.The Department reiterated this point in its recent engagements at the Calvary Temple Assembly of God Church, Retrieve, Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice); the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana Oil and Gas forum held at GITC and the Guyana Youth for Tomorrow (GYFT) symposium, both held in Georgetown and at the Third Annual Hindu Youth Convention, which was held at the Golden OM Dharmic Youth Organisation, New Amsterdam, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).“Within the industry, there are certain takeaways that we must hold to. One is that you must ensure that you are qualified and certified. Why is this important? It is important, because the industry has very high standards,” Dr Bynoe said in his presentation titled “The advent of oil and its impact on our communities” at the GYFT forum.The Energy Director also encouraged the young people to pursue their passion and to ensure that they are competent in any field that suits their interest. He noted that Guyanese were capable of providing training as well as ancillary services to the industry, which will become necessary in fields as varied as catering, tourism, and engineering as the oil sector emerges.“It’s not just about oil and gas; it’s about all the other supporting services that are required. Guyana is yours, consume it. Guyana belongs to us all, occupy it … Advise your friends and families to plan for careers not only in oil and gas. Your careers have to be beyond oil and gas. Yes, I said there might be opportunities therein, but there are opportunities outside, what we call the multiplier effect,” he said.In this vein, the Energy Director cautioned young people to utilise their smart phones and the Internet to research the skills set and certification required in their particular field, so that they are not duped by unscrupulous persons.In response to concerns about acquiring job experience as new graduates, Dr Bynoe encouraged the young people to consider volunteering, both to gain experience and to obtain a broader perspective of careers within their areas of interest.“Volunteerism is about gaining the experience and the expertise before you can start calling for your price. Too often, people come through the door and the first thing they ask is… how much are you paying? That cannot be the mentality that we’re going forward with … The careers chosen will take time and, therefore, we need to manage our expectations. You’re not going to become an expert because you just graduated from law school. You’re not going to become an expert, because you just graduated from med school. You’re not going to become an expert, because you just graduated with an economics degree. These things take time,” he cautioned.Meanwhile, the Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (C-TVET) plans to implement a new records system in its institutions from September. C-TVET Officer – Standards and Curriculum, Seon Hamer said the Council is embarking on this initiative in response to concerns expressed by its graduates.Additionally, echoing sentiments expressed by the Energy Director, Hamer also encouraged the youth to develop their skill set and to keep learning. “We have to be engaged in continuous training and continuous upgrading of our qualifications so that we will continue to be relevant in the employment sector,” he said.