Government will spend at least $30 million a year on training for the next four years.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made this disclosure today as she delivered the feature address at the 77th Annual Delegates’ Conference of the Barbados Workers’ Union, at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St. Michael.
Ms. Mottley told her large audience that the entire public and private sectors would be trained. Explaining that the training would be wide-ranging, to include, for example, from the car washer to lawyer to accountant, regulator to taxi driver to tour operator, she said: “Every single job in this country has first to be identified.
“We need to settle on the rudiments of what defines excellence in the delivery of that job, who will deliver the training, how much it will cost, when will it be delivered and then most importantly of all, how we will monitor the habit of excellence,” she stated.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the Government system still had certain posts that bore no relationship to the third decade of the 21st century. She stressed that employees in those jobs should receive the benefit of retraining and Government institutions should be restructured to be fit for purpose for a 21st century Barbados.
“We have to protect people, that is our solemn commitment. But we can’t hold on to institutions or jobs that are no longer relevant because all we do then is unfair those very same people who we want to protect…. For us, transformation must be about retooling and empowering, retraining and enfranchising,” she noted.
Pointing out that sacrifices would have to be made, Ms. Mottley gave the assurance that the measures being put in place would and must put the country on a corrective path. She stressed that the difficult conversation for the nation must continue and pledged that no one would be left behind.
She saluted all Barbadians, including the Social Partnership and workers, whom she said sent the clear message that “nothing shall prevent us from being able to rise because these challenges shall not define us.
“… Barbadians before have risen to the challenge, Barbadians today shall rise to the challenge,” she said, to great applause from the gathering. She added that Barbados was at a juncture in its history that would be defined by its people’s ability to bind together.
The Prime Minister reiterated that transformation was the only way forward for Barbados. She expressed confidence that the island would make it out of these difficult economic times. “We are going to get out of it and I have every confidence that Barbados will be a beacon for the Caribbean again and a beacon for the world,” she confidently stated.