As Barbados moved towards a ???greener??? economy, the gathering of skills and the development of relevant training programmes will be critical for creation of green jobs.
This view was expressed recently by Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, as she gave the feature address at a workshop on Green Economy at the Warrens Office Complex.
Senator Byer Suckoo described a green job as a ???decent job which contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment, be it in agriculture, industry, services or administration???.
???As more green jobs are created, it is important for tertiary institutions to equip workers with the skills and competencies they need to work effectively in the green economy??? [This] education and training is to be give priority within our National Development Plans and adequate funds are allocated for this training,??? she stated.
The Labour Minister made it clear that where training gaps are identified, appropriate resources would have to be channeled to the training institutions, to enable them to fill the existing gaps.
???There will also be the challenge of those persons who cannot or will not be retrained but whose old jobs are being phased out. These workers will have to be reassigned if possible or the social security benefits will have to kick in,??? she acknowledged.
Also pointing to the green economy policy which was articulated in the Medium-Term Growth and Development Strategy for 2013-2020, the Minister noted that Barbados had demonstrated the potential for its energy and environmental sectors to ???transform this country into a new paradigm???.
???In the same way that the Decent Work agenda has translated labour stakeholders??? efforts towards social justice into concrete elements that are easily linked into economic returns, the concept of the ???green economy??? has re-envisioned sustainable development,??? she emphasised.
The workshop on the Green Economy was held in collaboration with the International Labour Organization. Participants included representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme, the Labour Department and the Division of Energy.