Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (standing right) in conversation with Executive Director, Barbados Employers’ Confederation, Anthony Walcott; CTUSAB General Secretary, Dennis De Peiza (sitting left) and Chairman of National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, Peter Earle, during this morning’s Occupational Safety and Health Week 2017 Conference at the Accra Beach Hotel. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

As Government presses ahead in this the Year of Productivity, a minister has reinforced the importance of safe workplaces as the avenue for improved productivity.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, made this assertion today, while addressing the Ministry’s Occupational Safety and Health Week 2017 Conference at the Accra Beach Hotel.

The Minister told the gathering that Barbados no longer had preferential treatment in global relations and trade. Given this scenario, she stated, the onus was on citizens to focus on being more productive.

Senator Byer Suckoo added: “…We have to stand our ground in the international marketplace and compete with the best of them.  So, it is important that we do what we can to produce more with less and that speaks to our competitiveness as the keys to unlocking success in this environment.

“[Achieving increased productivity] means that we have to look at our mindset and how we view the resources that we have and how we use them.”

The Labour Minister said the conference’s theme: Safe Workplaces are Productive Workplaces, encapsulated the Ministry’s thrust to highlight the importance of productivity in this country. She said Barbados had limited natural resources but was blessed with people who were innovative and driven to succeed.

“We have to pay more attention to setting goals…we have to pay more attention to time management in order to be as productive as we can be,” she stressed.

The Senator said while her ministry and the social partners were supportive of the creation of decent jobs, emphasis must also be placed on encouraging entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.

“Given the current economic and social environment that dominates today, every business venture whether new or small…must embrace the view that competitiveness is paramount,” she urged.

Activities for Occupational Safety and Health Week continue tomorrow, Tuesday, July 4, and Wednesday, July 5, at the Accra Beach Hotel.

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