Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, has cautioned persons trying to get unemployment benefits that they must be actively seeking work.

She made this assertion this morning at the 16th Annual Human Resource Management Association of Barbados (HRMAB) Conference, at the Radisson Aquatica Resort.

While encouraging HR professionals and those in the private sector to work with the National Employment Bureau (NEB), thus providing a win-win situation for employers and job seekers, Minister Byer Suckoo advised that every unemployed person, once they have presented themselves to the NIS, the next stop had to be the NEB.

???Some people are not aware [of this rule], but it is under the legislation of the Unemployment Fund that in order to receive unemployment benefits???you also have to be actively seeking work. And the way that is measured is that you go to the NEB periodically to look for work and go to interviews where they send you. If you refuse to go, then you are deemed as not looking for work and you disqualify yourself from the unemployment benefits,??? she stated, adding that looking for employment after benefits had ceased was not the way to go.

The Minister also noted that having the right attitude and profile was key to obtaining and maintaining employment. She observed that this was an area where the younger demographic needed guidance and encouraged ???every organisation to embrace a school, [and] have attachment programmes.

???What is clear to me is that for many young people, they do not have a standard in mind so they do not know their [manner of] dressing is inappropriate?????
???For many young people there is no dissenting voice telling them ???that skirt may be a little too short???, or ???five earrings is more than adequate???. So those of us who know, we have to embrace our young people and show them there are standards,??? she asserted.

Solutions to these and other issues which affect Barbados??? growth are addressed in the Ministry???s Human Resource Development Strategy, Dr. Byer Suckoo explained. She said the strategy was created to forge a vital connection between the requirements of employers and training of individuals.

???Through the strategy, the education and training system would be enhanced to produce a skilled labour force which could adequately meet the changing demands of an open economy, increasingly impacted by dynamic external forces.

???I???m going to ask that your agencies work with our Ministry in this Human Resource Development Strategy, because it is about ensuring that education and training meet the needs of [the] industry today; but we cannot know what those needs are unless you tell us,??? she stressed.

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