People who are severed from their jobs are being advised to take the opportunity to upgrade their skills and explore entrepreneurial opportunities.
This advice has come from Glenda Gilkes, president of the Human Resource Management Association of Barbados, as over 3,000 public sector workers are expected to be retrenched over the next three months.
Gilkes told Barbados TODAY she believed any worker who lost his or her job during the current economic climate should turn to organizations that could help them develop their skills and help them become more marketable.
“The economy is tough right now; so a lot of people have to look to see what skills they have and can sharpen those skills and how they can seek new opportunities. I know there is a call on for people to become entrepreneurs, so they can do research and get people to help . . . . I see it as an opportunity for those persons who may be laid off or severed to really look at some kind of entrepreneurial enterprise for themselves,” Gilkes said.
“Any monies you may get as a form of severance, you have to look at investing it and putting it into new opportunities for you. It is normal to feel despondent, but you have to quickly pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go again,” she said.
Gilkes also advised that the current economic situation called for stricter budgeting measures and separating needs from wants.
“In terms of recruitment, look at some training opportunities, upgrade your computer skills, get your CV [curriculum vitae] looked at, and review it and upgrade it, include all those things you have done since you last went for an interview. And there are a number of agencies that can help you with that,” she added.
As for employers, Gilkes said she was not sure the private sector would be able to do much in terms of absorbing those public sector workers who were pending being laid off.
She said, however, that once workers upgraded their skills she believed they should be in a better position of being hired as soon as there was a vacancy, since companies were always looking for the best in terms of human resources.
“Right now it is an employers’ market in terms of being able to chose from a number of applications. You post one job and you get over 40 applications for that job. Some companies have been doing job fairs, so that is one thing that employers can do right now to respond to what may be a crisis,” she said.
The human resource consultant also had some advice for business operators who were operating in very competitive industries. Saying that the Barbados economy may not improve in the first quarter of 2014, Gilkes said it was up to businesspeople to find creative ways of ensuring they survived.
She said: “For employers it is really a challenge too because it is a trickle down effect. Those people are retrenched, the buying power is less and therefore the employers themselves have to look at their operation and see how best they can respond to what is happening in the society. So it will be difficult for everyone.” (MM)