??Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo and owner of Crane Residential Resort, Paul Doyle (left), pose with some of the interns who graduated from the training programme. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

When the oil and renewable energy markets in Barbados expand and intensify, it is anticipated that the workforce of this country will be prepared to meet such demands.

This is the assertion of Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who stressed that her Ministry is "hoping to be much more proactive, and start to institute some programmes that would allow Barbadians to take advantage of those opportunities when they come."

She was speaking at the presentation of the American Hotel and Lodging Association Designation to Crane interns and employees at the Crane Residential Resort, St. Philip on Wednesday.

The Labour Minister pointed out that the formulation of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy, debated in Parliament late last year, was an attempt to "develop our human capital and safeguard our future sustainable development".

Noting that the strategy would take into consideration the need to focus on specialised skills, she outlined those areas as information and communication technology, tourism, financial services and new sectors such as renewable energy and oil and gas exploration.

Specifically referring to the oil and renewable energy sectors, Dr. Byer Suckoo said, "Those are areas we know are coming on stream and … we don’t want to wait until after we have industries set up, have businesses in those areas and then see folks from overseas coming in and taking all the jobs, [for us] to then say, we should really be getting some work [in those sectors]. Maybe we should start to train [people here]."

She added that discussion on the way forward had already begun with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council and the Barbados Vocational Training Board.

Further emphasising that "Barbadian people are our major resources", the Minister observed that training citizens in the fields of oil and renewable energy would assist the island to gain more work through Overseas Employment Programmes.

"[This training] would allow Barbadians to take advantage of [job] opportunities overseas.?? Right now, there is scope for employment in some of those areas, and, as you know, our colleagues in Trinidad and Tobago [currently] have experience…?? [However,] we too, can tap into those jobs [once there is training in] oil and renewable energy," Dr. Byer Suckoo said.

Commending the management of the Crane Resort for its "continual strengthening of its human resources", the Minister congratulated the graduates on their achievements.??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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