One of the island’s respected economists is calling for the retraining of human resource personnel and a redefinition of factory inputs, as critical to maximising the island’s productivity.

Chairman of the Productivity Council, Anthony Johnson, threw out this challenge today, while addressing the Productivity Council’s Inaugural Regional Tri-partite Productivity Conference, under the theme: Out of Recession: Productivity Initiatives to Enhance Growth and Development in the Caribbean.?? It was held at Hilton Barbados.

Speaking to a wide cross section of business leaders and technocrats, Mr. Johnson added: "We must strive for excellence and efficiency, effectiveness and engagement.?? Although geared towards the private sector, we must not rule out the important role government can play in facilitating an enabling environment.?? Hence, the processes, procedures and systems, must be capable of embracing and applying tools for productivity-based components in management, across the wide spectrum of the public service."

Noting that the medium-term posed even greater challenges for government, he urged all Barbadians to demonstrate excellence at all levels. "I trust that you will draw on the lessons of yesteryear and the promises of today to strive for greater productivity…. The time for action is now," Mr. Johnson declared.

Meanwhile, Acting Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, said while most Caribbean economies had been characterised by labour intensive practices, there was an urgent need for more emphasis on innovation in productivity.

??"If we are to be serious then this conference must attack the issue of competitiveness in a serious way.?? To achieve this, you need to table for discussion, the formulation of a Caribbean Productivity and Innovation Index…" he added.

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