World TVET Database - Country Profiles


TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2012-11-10

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET strategy

The Strategic Plan 2008 -2013 aims to ensure that education contributes to the raising of living standards in Guyana. Both the mission and vision of the Strategy focus on developing citizenship and contributing to modernising the country.

With regard to TVET, the Strategy recognises a shortage of trained staff in some sectors and the need to improve existing facilities and provide better equipment. It recommends a gradual increase of the number of TVET schools and ensuring that they are properly equipped.

The National Competitiveness Strategy for Guyana (2006) points out the need for workers with diversified skills and competencies that are able to compete and succeed in a fast-changing economy. Therefore, investment in skills development is crucial for ensuring competitiveness of Guyana’s economy. The Strategy emphasises the need to retain skilled workers in the country and prevent a national ‘brain drain’.

In the short-term, the Strategy seeks to develop rapid response skills; design and implement a pilot development project for the forest products sector in partnership with the private sector; and create a public education and awareness campaign on TVET which will enhance the image of TVET and increase awareness of opportunities for obtaining employability through TVET.

In the long term, the Strategy outlines a need to formulate a comprehensive, long-term, systemic, and multi-faceted National Policy Framework for TVET; improve existing mechanisms for collection, analysis and dissemination of labour market information and establishing adequate industrial classification of occupations, wage structures and trends in employment.

The Policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training 2009 – 2014 focuses on technological and human resource development, and particularly on equal opportunity of access for males and females.

For that purpose, the Policy sets the following goals for TVET:

  • Meet the need for highly skilled craftsmen and technicians through education and training during and after the secondary level;
  • Make education and training opportunities available to all regardless of ethnic origin, sex, scholastic ability, aptitude, or place of residence;
  • Develop competencies needed for successful transition from school to work with emphasis on leadership and personal employability skills;
  • Ensure that students/trainees acquire competencies needed for employment or self- employment in occupations of their choice and for which there are employment opportunities;
  • Promote programmes which are developed through collective efforts with business, industry, and government, and which effectively use public and private resources;
  • Provide training or retraining for workers whose skills and technical knowledge must be updated as well as those whose jobs will be made redundant due to increasing efficiency, automation, or economic change; and - expand the Technical and Vocational Education and Training programmes consistent with employment possibilities and national economic needs.
TVET legislation

  • Pre-Vocational Education, which is a part of general education, falls under the Education Act Cap: 39:01.
  • Apprenticeship training is regulated by the Apprenticeship Act Cap: 39:04.
  • Council for TVET Technical and Vocational Education and Training is regulated by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Act of 2004.

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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Primary education starts at a minimum age of 5.9 years and lasts six years. It is compulsory and finishes with the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). Pupils with high scores in NGSA are awarded places in the senior secondary schools, while those with lower scores are placed in secondary schools within their communities or in the secondary departments of primary schools that lead to the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme (SCCP) at the end of the fourth year or CXC at the end of the fifth year. Students in the senior secondary schools may go on to CAPE or GCE ‘A’ level subjects.

Formal TVET system

Secondary education is offered at general secondary schools in which students prepare for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Secondary Education Certificate examinations. The majority of courses are academic with CXC also available in vocational and technical subjects.

At Post Secondary/Tertiary Level, TVET is offered in four technical institutes, four industrial training centres, the Carneige School of Home Economics and the Craft Production and Design Division. The programmes of these institutions are being geared to Caribbean Vocational Qualifications Framework Levels 1, 2 & 3 of Occupational Standards approved by CARICOM.

Non-formal and informal TVET systems

Public and private companies provide on-the-job training, work study programmes for secondary students and work experience programmes for post-secondary students/trainees. The Board of Industrial Training (BIT), under the Ministry of Labour, is responsible for the apprenticeship scheme for 15 to 17 year-olds.

The scheme offers:

  • Structured on-the-job training under supervision and theoretical sessions in a technical institution;
  • Apprenticeship courses in various engineering trades;
  • Periodic evaluation of performance and progress;
  • A progressively increasing wage structure;
  • Training from two to four years duration (exemptions granted for previous technical qualifications);
  • A Certificate of Competency on successful completion of training;
  • Employment offer after training; and
  • Other TVET Opportunities.
BIT also runs the National Training Project for Youth Employment (NTPYE) which consists of short-term training programmes (6 – 12 months) for out-of-school youths who are not likely to succeed at entrance tests for formal TVET institutions or the apprenticeship scheme. Short programmes are available in different regions and allow trainees to acquire skills in various occupations through on-the-job training in companies. Work experience is supplemented by classroom teaching which offers students entrepreneurial training and life skills education.

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3. Governance and financing


The two main public bodies in charge of TVET in Guyana are the Ministry of Education (Department for Technical and Vocational Education and Training) and the Ministry of Labour (Board of Industrial Training). Both entities collaborate closely in the promotion and development of TVET.

The Ministry of Education is in charge of overall education in Guyana. The Department for Technical and Vocational Education and Training is one of eight departments within the Ministry of Education. The Head of the department is the Deputy Chief Education Officer (TVET) who is responsible for the co-ordination, supervision, management and implementation of technical and vocational policies. The Department carries out TVET training for trainees/students and lecturers/instructors at secondary and post-secondary levels.

Established under the Industrial Training Act (1910), the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) functions under the Ministry of Labour. BIT performs regulatory functions for all apprenticeship schemes and issues certificates to trainees who successfully accomplish their apprenticeship training. Furthermore, BIT runs training and retraining programmes; organises exams and provides nationally-accredited certification for artisans.

The Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) was established in 2004 and is responsible for policy development, quality assurance curriculum development and renewal; and ensures that business and industry at all levels can access a skilled and competent labour force.

CTVET’s objectives are:

  • To advise the Minister on the measures required to ensure a comprehensive system of technical and vocational education and training that is suited to the development needs of Guyana;
  • To establish, develop and monitor schemes for the training of craftsmen, technicians and engineers needed to sustain and enhance economic growth;
  • To develop a national system of Competency Based Modularised Training and initiate its implementation;
  • To expand the scope of industrial training in industry;
  • To monitor and evaluate the delivery of all TVET programmes;
  • To implement a National System of Testing and Certification; and
  • To implement and maintain standards for the delivery of TVET.
The Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) and the Adult Education Association (AEA) are two main bodies responsible for non-formal education in Guyana. Part of the University of Guyana, IDCE delivers various evening courses for adults and out-of-school youth. AEA works in the community level to address literacy problems.

Part of the Ministry of Education, the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) is responsible for planning and implementing of in-service teacher training programmes at all levels. Its main aim is to improve the quality of education at all levels so that education can contribute to the social and economic development of the country. NCERD was established in 1986 and consists of seven units (Curriculum Development and Implementation Unit, Measurement, Evaluation and Research Unit, Learning Resources Development Unit, Materials Production Unit, Distance Education and Information Unit, School Libraries Division, Administrative Unit)

NCERD has the following key responsibilities:

  • Provide in-service and continuous training (professional, continuous growth and development) for teachers and other personnel;
  • Expand opportunities for in-service teacher education;
  • Develop, test, implement and evaluate curriculum for nursery, primary and secondary schools;
  • Advise on policy guidelines which relate specifically to Regional Learning Resource Centres (RLRC);
  • Keep abreast of international trends in education and collaborate with other professionals;
  • Monitor and evaluate the functioning of RLRC’s;
  • Conceptualise, develop, evaluate and procure learning resources;
  • Train library assistants, laboratory technicians and teacher librarians;
  • Promote the practice of more effective teaching strategies;
  • Provide assistance in the area of classroom management;
  • Ensure that the curriculum is grounded in practice;
  • Ensure that the process of integration and infusion guide the approach in curriculum development;
  • Ensure the unitary delivery of the curriculum in contrast to a fragmented subject-based approach;
  • Encourage the participation of all stakeholders in the developmental process of materials created for schools;
  • Train a cadre of teachers in curriculum management techniques in each region;
  • Provide training support for practicing teachers; and
  • Prepare and make necessary adjustments to annual work programme and budget estimates.”

Post-secondary level TVET is funded through budget allocations, private sector contributions and student/trainee fees.

The Policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training 2009-2014 makes recommendations for establishing a levy system based on industry contributions determined according to a set minimum number of employees. The levy would take into account TVET spending made by each industry every year and establish a rebate system accordingly.

Pre-vocational Education is financed through allocations from the national budget. The Policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training 2009-2014 emphasises the need to increase material and supplies for pre-vocational programmes.

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4. TVET teachers and trainers

Teacher education is offered at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), the Cyril Potter College of Education, the Government Technical Institute and the University of Guyana. Teachers at primary levels need to finish a two-year programme, while secondary teachers have to complete a three-year programme.

The Policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training 2009-2014 provides for the establishment of several departments dealing with initial training for technical teachers at the Cyril Potter College of Education. Technical teachers pursuing initial training will be given the opportunity to up-grade their skills through short-periods of attachment in industry or special short intensive courses. At the Government Technical Institute, initial teacher training for post-secondary instructors will be reorganised and upgraded. The National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) will initiate up-grading and up-dating seminars/workshops for technical teachers who graduated from the Cyril Potter College of Education. Finally, salaries and working conditions of TVET teachers at both pre-vocational and post- secondary levels will be reviewed and up-graded.

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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

Quality assurance

Founded in 2004, the National Accreditation Council (NAC) aims at establishing a quality assurance system that will respond to global challenges and promote the quality of TVET in Guyana. The Council is in charge of conducting and advising on the accreditation and recognition of educational and training institutions, providers, programmes and awards - both foreign and national - and for the promotion of quality and standards in education and training.

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6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges


The National Competitiveness Strategy for Guyana (2006) outlines the following challenges for TVET in Guyana:

  • Private/public sector collaboration on TVET is sporadic and limited which results in the output of TVET system bearing little relevance to actual labor market demand;
  • The TVET system lacks efficiency and effectiveness and budgetary constraints have had and continue to limit investment in the system;
  • Systemic problems relating to the entire framework for TVET that require large scale reform and interventions at the policy and investment levels; and
  • Competency based education and training is being implemented in some secondary schools through the Secondary Competency Certificate Programme and in all post-secondary institutions nationally for the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) at Levels 1, 2 & 3.

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7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)



Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+0.21 %

For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
0.37 0.38
female male  
0.38 0.38
female male  

49.73 %

49.73 %

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)



1 105

2 948

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank Database

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

  • Carneige School of Home Economics
  • Government Technical Institute
  • Linden Technical Institute
  • Essequibo Technical Institute
  • New Amsterdam Technical Institution
  • Guyana Industrial Training Centre
  • Upper Corentyne Industrial Training Centre
  • Leonora Technical and Vocational Training Centre
  • Mahaicony Technical and Vocational Training Centre
  • Craft Production and Design Division
  • University of Guyana

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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations


Further reading


  • AEA - Adult Education Association
  • BIT - Board of Industrial Training
  • CAPE - Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination
  • CTVET - Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • CXC - Caribbean Examination Council
  • IDCE - Institute of Distance and Continuing Education
  • NAC - National Accreditation Council
  • NCERD - National Centre for Educational Resource Development
  • NGSA - National Grade Six Assessment
  • NTPYE - National Training Project for Youth Employment
  • SCCP - Secondary Competency Certificate Programme

    Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
    Publication Date: 2012-11-10
    Validated by: Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training

page date 2017-05-05

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