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Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo presenting Lambert Carrington with his Long Service Award at Sunday’s GIVE Awards ceremony at Hilton Barbados. Carrington has been a farm worker on the External Employment Programme for 35 years. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Employees in the public sector have been encouraged to continue to Aspire, Transform and Achieve.

These words of advice have come from Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, as she addressed awardees, government representatives and well wishers at the Hilton Barbados yesterday evening for the 5th Annual GIVE Awards 2012 under the theme Aspire, Transform and Achieve.

In her remarks, Minister Byer Suckoo told the audience that nothing worthwhile happened unless there was a vision to which persons could aspire. She said there must be "commitment to change – transform – to meet the challenges which confront us, and to make the most of opportunities which exist now and in the future…

"Whatever we aspire to do in Barbados, we can achieve successfully because we have a strong public service whose professionalism and commitment to excellence has helped to move Barbados forward over the decades, and to place us in the enviable position as being a role model for sustainable development in the region, with a very high ranking of 38 out of nearly 200 countries, the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the Human Development Report 2013."

The Labour Minister noted that despite the criticisms which were sometimes levelled at the public service, there were many exemplars of excellence in the sector.??

"As the largest employer in the country, the public service boasts many public officers who have given sterling service over the years, who often go beyond the call of duty, and who exemplify the qualities and characteristics of GIVE, namely a Great Attitude, the Initiative to improve the level of output in their respective workplaces, good morale and organisational Values and commitment to producing Excellent and quality work."

Senator Byer Suckoo explained that the awards "concentrate on a number of human resource management principles that seek to encourage high standards in the workplace. These include a good attitude, perfect attendance, integrity in all transactions with the public, high performance standards, enhanced communication skills and the provision of excellent customer service at all times."??

She pointed out that her ministry was also charged with developing a Human Resource Development Strategy which would be applied to enhance Barbados’ competitiveness, level of productivity, and investment in human capital development.

Further explaining the Strategy’s raison d’etre, the Labour Minister said that it aimed to provide an effective education and training system, mounted on a platform which recognised "the need for a national qualifications framework based on international standards; the need for collaboration with all sectors in the economy to accurately determine the kinds of skills needed and so inform our training; the need for a comprehensive and credible knowledge management system; and the need for enhanced research to improve innovation and entrepreneurship capacity."

Some 17 persons received awards for 2012. They included Fire Officer Terry Griffith, who was also presented with the Spirit of Public Sector Development Award; Brenda Kellman, Ministry of Tourism and International Transport; Ian Warner, Training Administration Division, Ministry of the Civil Service; while Lydia Waterman and Ira Waterman-Brooks were given HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme Special Recognition Awards.?? Since the inaugural Awards Ceremony in 2006, 144 persons have been recognized for possessing GIVE qualities.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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