With the spending power of consumers diminishing and the economy failing to generate sufficient meaningful jobs, businesses here continue to feel the pressure created by reduced demand for goods and services, according to the private sector union, the Barbados Employers’ Confederation.
The BEC said it continued to feel the effects of the “worrying trend” of shrinking disposable incomes and rising unemployment.
Reporting on the confederation’s performance over the past year, BEC President Ian Gooding-Edghill said the membership-based organization realized some successes.
However, he said this progress took place in spite of the economic situation.
“The BEC has been able to deliver our services, maintain membership and strengthen its balance sheet. [However], the prolonged period of economic recession in Barbados has compromised businesses and employment levels, and the worrying trend continues. We in the BEC are hopeful that recovery will be realized in the not too distant future,” he explained.
“All sectors of our economy continue to be challenged because of the shrinking disposable incomes of consumers, reduction in the demand for goods, rising operating costs for the businesses and anaemic performance due to the lack of major capital works. This has caused unemployment levels to creep upwards.”
The BEC today launched its week of activities at its headquarters at Braemar Court on Deighton Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael.
In his address, Gooding-Edghill said the time had come for a thrust towards the continued development of human capital.
He called on businesses to try to recruit at least two management trainees each year and for a management trainee development programme that targets both university graduates and non-graduates who possess the relevant competencies “to both grow with the companies and facilitate the growth of the staff they will lead”.
“A significant benefit of such an exercise is its inherent opportunity for recruits to be trained and work in almost every department and job and get to understand and appreciate the function and contribution of each job position to the overall operations of the business, thereby enabling them to make better decisions for the advancement of the organization,” he added.
The theme for this year’s week of activities is, ‘Keys to Sustainable Development: Consultation, Dialogue and the Green Framework.
The week of activities continues tomorrow with the annual general meeting luncheon at Hilton Barbados Resort, and it ends on Sunday with a church service at Restoration Ministries.