The provision of decent employment continues to be high on the agenda of Government.
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership, Colin Jordan, reiterated this on Thursday, as he addressed the start of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados’ (CTUSAB) Midterm delegates’ Conference at the 3Ws Pavilion, Cave Hill Campus, Cave Hill, St. Michael.
While stating earlier that Government could not “construct the future of work or implement the objectives of the ILO alone”, he said it required a collaborative approach with the trade union, private sector and others.
Speaking about efforts to help the youth, Minister Jordan noted that the role of Government, as facilitator, was to create that enabling environment for all workers, and particularly for young people, as new entrants into the job market seeking to gain much needed work experience.
Mr. Jordan also told delegates that Government had embarked on a number of significant and ambitious programmes to provide not only the requisite experience and skills to our youth, but to help shape them into well-rounded, civic minded adults, who are able to communicate with confidence.
Explaining further, the Labour Minister said: “One of these programmes which will be launched shortly is called Job Start Plus and this is under the National Youth Employment Framework.
Job Start Plus is targeted to young people between the ages of 16 and 24, and aims to place young people who have never had the opportunity to work either with an established business, or with a tradesperson within their field of interest.
“The high unemployment level among the youth, the complexity of the issue and the heterogeneity of the young people involved demand a multidimensional, comprehensive and integrated approach that will engage all relevant stakeholders. These stakeholders include not only Government, but you representatives of trade unions and staff associations, as well as private and third sector partners.”
He also called on the unions to see the development of our workers – young, old and people living with disabilities – not merely as an end in itself, but as a means to an end.
While noting that in this regard, Government had also recognized the importance of developing workers as a key component of the overall Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme, he pointed out that consequently, the Retool and Empower, Retrain and Enfranchise (RE-RE) programme has been incorporated into the National Training Initiative, as a major part of the transformation plan.