Prime Minister David Thompson (left), greeting President of the Human Resource Management Association of Barbados, Henderson Williams, on his arrival at??the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

At the end of the current recession, a large number of super-powers would have emerged and would be able to mass produce and deliver consumer goods and services that are highly competitive.????????

This is the view of Prime Minister David Thompson, who warned that to prevent social and political disasters following these developments, "we have to think outside the box".

He made these comments today at the 12th annual Human Resource Management Association of Barbados’ (HRMAB) Conference, under the theme "Organisational Renewal, Managing People, Managing Change". The two-day meeting is being held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

"To begin with, we have to safeguard the inalienable rights and freedoms of our people. We have to guarantee their right to housing, their right to education, their right to work, and their right to a decent standard of living," Mr. Thompson declared.

He noted that it was for that reason that government had been pre-occupied with strengthening the social safety net, to prevent Barbadians from suffering unnecessarily during the recession.

The Prime Minister stressed that the way out of a recession was to invest heavily in human resources, because, according to him, the people of a country contributed most to the recovery, and, if given a chance, would "guarantee the sustainable development of their nation".

Mr. Thompson also suggested that the time had come to revisit the relationship between the employer and the employee. "Can we afford the luxury of perceiving that relationship as a war between two implacable foes? Can we afford to be pulling in different directions in times of crisis?" he queried.

He advocated re-examining the perception of the role of the worker in both the private and public sectors, asserting that challenges were being experienced in changing the mindset of some public workers who held certain "out-dated or politically motivated beliefs".

The Prime Minister warned: ??"The point is that we cannot continue in the brave new world of the 21st century to operate on the assumption that a government, or any other job is a sinecure. Our workers simply have to become more efficient and more productive … or we shall stagnate and perish as a nation."

He appealed to HRMAB help to train more persons to identify with management, to produce more and to plan ahead. "You have to help us to get workers to adopt the iterative process and ask themselves every day how they could improve their efficiency," Mr. Thompson urged. ??

He also cautioned persons against always assuming that someone would "turn up on a white charger" and create jobs for them.?? "They can no longer assume that they can forever sit down on the job. Those jobs are being outsourced to distant lands; and, in some cases, are being taken by more industrious migrant workers before our very eyes," the Prime Minister advised.??

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