Skills lacking

Survey finds shortage of tech/voc abilities

A recent survey has found that Barbados is experiencing a shortage of technical and vocational skills, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo has revealed.

Dr Byer-Suckoo did not disclose when the survey was conducted, who commissioned it, the reason for it, the size of the sample or who was surveyed.

However, she said in an address today at the 50 and Beyond Assessment and Exhibition showcase at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) that demand for such skills here far outweighed supply.

“Research has shown that there is a shortage of technical vocational skills in Barbados. Now, this seems to suggest that in spite of economic circumstances, and this is recent research, that there is actually a demand for particular skills on the island that we are not yet meeting. And we must prepare our workers to supply these skills,” Dr Byer-Suckoo said.

At the same time, the minister sought to dismiss suggestions that Barbadians lack creativity and innovation, insisting it was a lie that other Caribbean nationals were more creative.

“For too long I have heard people say, ‘Jamaicans are creative and Trinidadians are innovative and they do this and they do that’. We have allowed ourselves, not all of us, as a society, to buy in to this belief, this notion that we are not as creative. We believe this lie. We now have the task of uprooting that.

“So we are creative and it is time that we stop believing that lie. It is time that we stand tall in the knowledge that Barbadians are creative, are innovative; and go out there and take our thoughts and turn them into services and products and take those to the world. That is what we need, that is what our economy needs, that is how we will compete in the international marketplace,” Dr Byer-Suckoo stressed.

The showcase followed the graduation of the first group of 36 students from a range of National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) garment manufacturing courses through a partnership between the SJPP and AC’s Manufacturing, with assistance from the Competency Based Training Fund, the TVET Council and the Inter American Development Bank.

The AC’s Manufacturing and SJPP partnership has resulted in three new programmes – manufacturing sewn products level II, apparel manufacturing technology level 3 and textile material design level 3 – being added to the SJPP NVQ/CVQ curriculum.

7 Responses to Skills lacking

  1. Hal Austin October 27, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Is this the same minister who recently blamed young people for turning their backs on skills?

  2. Phil October 27, 2016 at 3:06 am

    I am gathering here from the goodly doctor that we need to apply more creative skills to our professional well being. That, lovely lady, is another word for entrepreneurship. First of all almost every young scholar in Barbados, set out to become a doctor or a lawyer. then that fades to what they end up becoming and that covers the entire spectrum of our work force. I think the future of our work force begins at primary education level at age 9 I would say. During the Summer Holiday, institute a skills training program. This is the best research method. The children are engaged in a number of skills training after which they are evaluated and guided towards the best vocational program. Which ever they seem to gravitate towards. Herin lies your answer madam doctor.

  3. Tony Webster October 27, 2016 at 3:08 am

    Amazing, and very disconcerting. After thanking the Minister for disclosing this troubling state of affairs, one must ask for the fullest possible ventilation of the vertebrae, the guts and the sinews of her sources of the survey, so that concerted action can be urgently commenced to deal withe the elephant hiding in plain sight. It boggles the mind that such an situation could come to pass, if there was the presumed normal collaboration, between our private sector, our Min. Of Education, the Min. Labour, the Min. of Commerce, and not overlooking the plethora of implementing agencies specifically designed and created to avoid just this embarrassing outcome!

    Who is driving this ZR?

    There is an obvious chink in the Social Partnership…the size of Gibraltar. Give them all cell-phones? Meet over coffee once every five years? Prime Minister, please be-stir yourself.

  4. chris hill October 27, 2016 at 8:10 am

    The good Doctor is totally out of place. there are fine artisans sitting home due to the extreme lack of work. carpenters, tillers, joiners, heavy equipment drivers all sitting idle due to the lack of work. many very creative people sitting idle due to the lack of financing to get start up funds or just the frustration in the red tape layered system. The DLP has not put elements in place to expand the vocational schools, the funds are not being dispersed to the ones with these creative ideas. Come again Byer- Suckoo.

  5. Mac October 27, 2016 at 9:33 am

    How recent is this survey and who conducted it.?
    You said research has shown that there is a shortage of technical vocational skills in Barbados. Who did the research and when was that done.?
    Your trademark seems to be making long statements at the end of which nothing specific is conveyed. Please give us some specifics

  6. F.A.Rudder October 27, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Back in the late 19th century the Mother country did not let us produce the best Dynamite in the world but instead allowed our batholite Manjack to be carted away by train to Carlyle Bay and loaded into Steam ships destin Port Elizabeth South Africa for the diamond mines there. It was used to produce the worlds first safe or O.S.H.A. safe dynamite our labor force back then were very productive and can be again! The diamond miners of South Africa should research the history of fatalities and casualties to their ancestors had it not been for Barbadian Manjack miners. Thank You!

  7. Realist October 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    The only person lacking skills is the minister. By-the-way where did you conduct your research…at the rum shop? Utter nonsense…Barbadians have skills…more skills than you can imagine. Just because you government doesn’t provide the opportunities for individuals to showcase their skills doesn’t mean that the skill sets aren’t there. Are you judging an entire society by the inept group that surround you? Really? Girlfriend my skills set is wide and you haven’t interviewed me.


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