The Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, in conjunction with the International Labour Organization (ILO), will launch the ILO Employability Project, which aims to enhance employability among persons who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19.
The virtual launch of the pilot project will take place on the Zoom platform on Wednesday, July 15, from 11 a.m. to noon.
The launch may also be attended in the conference room on the 2nd Floor of the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.
It will be addressed by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, as well as Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, Lars Johansen, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Dr. Karen Best.
The Ministry has joined forces with the ILO Caribbean Office and Barbados’ National Training Initiative (NTI) to provide free online training in three areas. These are: Core/Soft Skills, Occupational Safety and Health and Entrepreneurship.
Cognizant that unemployment benefits will only be for a short period of time, the Ministry is of the view that during the unemployment period, persons should be encouraged to acquire new skills and knowledge to enhance their employability once the economy is re-energized. The pilot project is expected to last for two months.
Along with targeting persons who are currently unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits as a result of the pandemic, it is also designed for males and females aged 16 to 60, who have completed secondary school.
Interested persons may enrol at various times during the length of the pilot and undertake any of the three freecourses. The maximum length of each course is eight (8) hours. On completion, persons will be issued with a certificate of participation.
While the training will be foundational, prospective candidates will be provided with information on various institutions where they can acquire more long term training that will lead to certification.
Some of those agencies include: the Small Business Association; the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology; the Barbados Vocational Training Board; the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme; the Barbados Institute for Management and Productivity; and the Career Development Institute.
The ILO Employability Project is a targeted intervention that seeks to demonstrate the benefits of supporting affected workers during this COVID-19 period, and building partnerships to ease their re-entering the labour market in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Another key component of the project is the building of partnerships with employers’ and workers’ organizations.
The Ministry of Labour has started the process of sensitizing its tripartite partners (employers and workers) about the project, where it is hoped that employers will acknowledge that persons who participate in this training are equipped to function in the work environment.
Discussions will continue with stakeholders to ensure that the Employability Project could be continued after the two months.