The Ministry of Labour is well on its way to completing its Human Resource Development programme after Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer was informed by Head of Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Mikael Barford that the fourth tranche of $17 million provided by the European Union would be made available shortly.
Barford made this announcement this morning while speaking to reporters at the offices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Warrens Complex, Warrens, St Michael.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler said Government had reached the latest stage in the support for the Human Resource Development strategy programme which the European Commission has been supporting over the past year.
Sinckler added that over the past six to seven years Barbados had been traversing a fairly difficult economic space and while there had been some progress in stabilizing the economy, the country was not out of the woods.
Explaining the rationale behind the Human Resources Development programme, the St Michael North West MP pointed out that retraining the island’s workforce formed part of the structural adjustment programme.
“We have always boasted of having a very highly educated population with an array of skills and skill sets. Those skills were designed, developed and enhanced over time for a particular kind of economy . . . However, what we are seeing now across the world is that small and medium sized businesses are the ones that are driving economic growth,” Sinckler said.
The minister noted that in the past Barbados’ economy has shown its inability to provide employment for many of its citizens. However, he said policymakers must now reposition the island’s human resources so they can engage the global economy with new and exciting skills.