Efforts To Address Labour Market Demands

Joy-Ann Gill Top Stories

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan addressing stakeholders at a meeting to release findings on an Employers Survey at the Warrens Office Complex. (A.Gaskin/BGIS)

Government, in recognition of the fact that the demand for skills, abilities and competencies is changing, is putting systems in place to ensure challenges of any nature are confronted.

This was underscored recently when Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, addressed stakeholders at a meeting at Warrens Office Complex that released findings on an Employers Survey, undertaken in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Skills For The Future Program.

Mr. Jordan, acknowledging that there were going to be new recruitment methods to evaluate prospective workers, said: “We have to improve labour market efficiency, to make sure that our national objectives of developing our people and our country are met. At the end of the day, our intention is to create sustainability so that all of us who live and work here can benefit from a sustainable country.”

Noting that his Ministry had endeavoured to build its capacity and machinery, he stressed it would not be able to respond unless the skill sets and competencies existed to respond to changes “happening all around”.

The Ministry, he added, was also committed to pursuing policies and programmes aimed at developing and equipping the workforce with these necessary skills and competencies to compete in the 21st century environment.

“We are always cognisant that meaningful workforce development is very dependent on the ability of a country to collect, analyse and disseminate information on its labour force in a timely manner. With access to such information, progress can be made in addressing any chronic or pervasive labour imbalances that will contribute to challenges in the labour market and the ability of employers to recruit suitable persons,” Mr. Jordan stated.

He further noted that in the rapidly changing work environment, these developments required that future skills needs were anticipated and potential mismatches avoided.

“To ensure this, my Ministry is committed to sustained dialogue with all stakeholders engaged in the delivery of labour market policies, including employers and trainers, and to the provision of quality employment services and labour market information systems,” he indicated.

The IDB, along with consultants, MRSB Consulting Services from Canada, which served as team leader, Kaizen Business Development Inc., and Abelian Consulting Services, was commended for its work on designing and executing the survey that provided information about the skill requirements and gaps, as perceived by employers.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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