Not Business as Usual in World of Work Says Labour Minister

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Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, delivers remarks at the media launch of the TVET Council’s Worldskills Barbados Competition on Tuesday at the Hotel Pom Marine, Christ Church. (A.Miller/BGIS)

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It is not business as usual in the world of work says this island’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.

According to her, the development of human capital in Barbados could only be maximised if vocational education and training and the use of non-traditional methods were incorporated into human resource development strategies.

Dr. Byer Suckoo made the comments recently during the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council’s media launch of the Worldskills Barbados Competition 2012 at the PomMarine Hotel, Marine Gardens, Christ Church.

The Minister noted that many young people had completed their studies, but had not found work in their chosen field. She added that the current economic recession had her "concern, not only for our economy, but for our young people who need … to be gainfully employed.

"They need to chart a path for themselves and I think technical and vocational education and training is what will do that for them now… It would allow them to achieve success," she assured.

Dr. Byer Suckoo said young people should be encouraged in this area of technical and vocational education and training. "We really need to push this [area] at all levels. We have to promote for our young people a viable, honest alternative, otherwise they will find other alternatives," she maintained.

She told her audience that Worldskills Barbados was part of this country’s efforts to ensure the workforce had the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to compete at the global level.

Worldskills Barbados is based on the Worldskills International Competition which is considered a global "skills Olympics" and provides young people ages 16 to 22 with an opportunity to compete and demonstrate their excellence in skilled professions.

The local chapter will target students between the ages of 16 and 25 who attend the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Community College and the Barbados Vocational Training Board. They will compete in the areas of Culinary Arts, Beauty Therapy, Web Page Design, Fashion Technology, Automotive Technology and Hair Dressing. ??

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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