Young people were today engaged in talks concerning Guyana’s developing oil and gas sector and how they can be more informed and involved. The session attracted hundreds of youths, over-spilling the Umana Yana where it was held.They were able to ask questions and make suggestions to various Heads from the Departments of Energy, Environment and Youth.Calls for more training opportunities, awareness campaigns, job creation, creation of strong policies and the implementation of stringent laws followed. Youths also questioned how they will be able to benefit from the sector when production starts next year and how the profits from the oil and gas industry will be invested to improve the country’s lot.Director of the Energy Department, Dr Mark Bynoe, in his address to the young people, encouraged them to plan for careers not only in oil and gas, but rather for the transformation of the economy.“You do not have to change your career path to benefit. What you have to do is, in whatever you are doing, ensure you are the best at it. You do not have to be a petroleum engineer to benefit from oil and gas. What you have to do is ensure that you are certifiable Guyanese that you can be employed” Dr Bynoe underscored.Youth Director Melissa Carmichael-Haynes encouraged the young people to take advantage of every training opportunity available and programmes being offered by the department geared at empowering young people. The Director highlighted that there are many programmes through which young people can apply for grants to kick-start innovative business and community ideas offered by the department.Overall, the young people were not shy in letting their voices be heard and were very vocal, calling to be more involved and not side-lined. Nevertheless, they were pleased by the initiative taken and expressed their thirst for more.Martin Massiah, one of the participants, said that he was happy to see young people being involved in the process, especially with the opportunities that will come with the industry. “I am looking forward to the Department of Youth and the GEA and all the other organisations associated with the emerging oil industry in Guyana engaging the youth. Not only in sessions like this but in more practical sessions where you can see them actually interacting and exchanging more ideas with the young people of Guyana” Massiah stated.Sasha King described the session as a very informative one, but also called for more to be held. King said “the young people of Guyana, we have a lot, we know a lot, but we still need to know more of what is going on. This session did that to an extent, but we still need to have more of this forum in place.”Due to the massive turnout to the event, it has been decided to hold a similar event next Saturday, at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to facilitate those who did not get to fully participate because of the large audience. Similar sessions are also slated to be undertaken throughout the country so that everyone can join the conversation.