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Equip workforce with relevant skills, says Cox

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour said this morning that Barbados has for too long been training and educating people in areas not specifically required by industry.

Addressing the presentation of survey results on the state of the human resources profession in the Caribbean at the Cave Hill School of Business, at the University of the West Indies, Andrew Cox suggested that Barbados had to create a workforce which was equipped with the relevant skills, knowledge and abilities, to meet the demands of industry.

“We have heard the concerns raised by employers, that workers do not possess all of the necessary skills to support their operations,” Cox declared.

The permanent secretary said the Government was aware of the existence of occupational shortages in several sectors, but noted the presence of a pool of people who had difficulty finding work.

“To address the concerns raised by employers, we have developed the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy, which is underpinned by five pillars,” Cox continued.

Among the pillars he cited were the creation of an enabling environment for human resource development through institutional strengthening and capacity building; and the development of an internationally recognised national qualifications framework.

He also identified the evolution of a demand-driven professional development and training services and the rationalisation of knowledge management systems and improved information access.

“Preliminary discussions have begun with some private sector organisations, but we need all the players involved in the process. For this strategy to be successful, we need the support and active involvement of the private sector,” implored the top public officer.

As a result, Cox suggested that Government needed to constantly question whether the graduates from local educational institutions were finding employment in their areas of training. (EJ)

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