Dr. di Cola commended Guyana for the successful implementation of the School Retention ILO/TACKLE Project, which targetted school children for increased attendance and performance at schools, thereby eliminating child labour.
"Thanks to Guyana, the project was particularly successful in the Caribbean... The collaboration was even good during the challenges," Dr. di Cola said.
While the ILO funding for the project has come to an end, the Project is now being integrated into the national system through the Ministry of Education.
Minister Gopaul advised that vehicles have been purchased to continue the transportation component of the project, and the provision of hot meals to the students will also continue. The minister also told the team about the successful training programmes being executed through the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) to provide additional opportunities to young people who dropped out of school, address unemployment as well as financial support for students in the public schools, and provision of meals, transportation and school uniforms for them.
The more-than-three-hour-long meeting saw discussions on social dialogue, workers' migration, and social and health benefits; as well as the work of the Tripartite Committee.
Through the National Tripartite Committee, and the support of the ILO, the Labour Ministry was able to implement and exceed the parameters of the Decent Work Country Programme; table HIV/AIDS regulations in the National Assembly; and craft regulations to address mining, manufacturing, chemicals, and noise, all of which are being finalised.
Noris Whitter of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) commended the Tripartite Committee for its work, and said the support of the ILO has been instrumental to its success.
Appreciation was also expressed to the ILO by Kenneth Joseph of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), and Dale Beresford of the TUC.
Messrs Beresford and Jerry Goolsarran of the Consultative Association of Guyanese Industries (CAGI) also noted the strong leadership provided by Minister Gopaul, which has seen successes such as the implementation of the National Minimum Wage and the 40-hour work week.
Guyana was also praised for being one of thirteen countries to sign the ILO Convention No. 189, which offers specific protection to domestic workers. This makes Guyana the only country in the Caribbean, and one of few in Latin America, to do so, according to the ILO.
Following the discussions, the grouping agreed that the ILO would support Guyana with technical expertise in various areas discussed, in order to boost local capacity.