A Government Minister believes Barbadians are “wasting” a lot of time talking about layoffs when there are “a lot more important things to talk about”.
Minister of the Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King a former calypso king of Barbados said this country had successfully maneuvered through tough times in the past and it was time to focus on the changes which would benefit Barbados in the long term.
“Are you prepared to be a part of the change going forward or are you prepared to be a part of the problem? If you are going to be a part of the problem, then I John King draw a line and ask people which side of the line are you on?” King said.
Speaking at the opening of an art exhibition at the Barbados Museum last evening, the Culture Minister questioned: “Are you about Barbados or about yourself?”
“If it’s about yourself you can stay over there and the people who are about Barbados come on this side and let’s get this country sorted out,” he told reporters.
Advising media workers to “stop picking at layoffs”, he noted that although the situation may seem bleak at present, as the economic situation starts to improve, jobs will be created for those currently on the breadline.
“Let’s look to the future, because when those jobs start to roll out, what are you going to report? Are you going to come back and say ‘job well done, Mr King’ or are you going to keep picking on if they’re going to be layoffs. It’s life,” he said.
The exhibition entitled The Arrivants – Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean is being hosted by the University of the West Indies in association with the University of St Andrew in the United Kingdom.
Over the last two days, there were announcements of layoffs at the Transport Board and at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) where 50 and 116 are to be among those to be retrenched as part of the IMF-backed Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.
Minister King also addressed possible layoffs in the creative industries sector as planned mergers between the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority (BCIDA) and the Commission for Pan-African Affairs into the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) are put in motion.
He says the objective of any layoffs would be to make government entities “fit for purpose”.
Minister King indicated that Barbadians would soon have a much broader outlook, opening themselves to global opportunities, instead of the limited local job market.
“We have people who have been well educated. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. Many of our people have left these shores and made their mark in other countries,” King noted.
He also reminded his audience of the old saying “When one door is closed, another door opens” noting that was the mindset that we have to move forward with.