“Awareness of the value of productivity needs to be spread throughout the labour force and even into the next generation and the tone must be set by the managers”.
This was the view expressed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Darcy Boyce, today as he addressed a breakfast launch of the National Productivity Council’s awareness campaign at Hilton Barbados.
According to the Minister, a new thrust for awareness must include all professions, community workers, students and the public service.” In his words: “Our small open economy competes with the rest of the world, particularly in international business.
“The level of productivity in the non-trading sectors, for example construction and distribution, determines how competitive we are in our trading sectors,” he said.
Senator Boyce went on to point out that even as the economic environment became more difficult, the continuing objective must be to maintain the standard of living of Barbadians. This, he submitted, meant keeping productivity levels high enough to support competitiveness. Success of this approach, he contended, was borne out by numerous illustrations in world history.
The Minister recalled that the 1993 mandate of the Council included public education and sensitisation with respect to what was even then predicted to be lying ahead. He regretted that levels of productivity awareness was still not as high as one would wish, and not in all sectors.
Addressing the matter of what is produced, Senator Boyce noted measures should be in place to ensure that what is provided in Barbados is what the consumer wanted and preferred to buy.
“We must be providing the right products, if not no level of productivity will lead to profitability. We therefore need to also look at how the business is run and what it produces,” he admonished.
“We need to revisit the pay for performance concept and when times are good and profitable, this is even more important because persons can see benefits immediately,” the Minister stated.
As his parting thoughts, Senator Boyce expressed the hope that the campaign would extend to those working in our infrastructure, transport, utilities and all the inputs that impact on competitiveness. This, he stated, should include a strategy for working with government departments and corporations.
“We have to be careful that we don’t lose our competitiveness. Persons needing assistance in productivity awareness should therefore feel confident of being assisted by the National Productivity Council through this initiative,” he noted.
Executive Director of the National Productivity Council, John Pilgrim, outlined the scope of the entire project which will focus on training and research as well as advocacy and awareness.