Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan is calling on training institutions in Barbados to increase their enrolment numbers in an effort to accommodate unemployed individuals who wish to study.
At the same time, Jordan is giving the assurance that the Mia Mottley-led administration was doing all it could to help the hundreds of retrenched workers explore new employment possibilities.
His comments came on Monday as he addressed the first in a series of workshops designed to help retrenched workers regroup.
The workshop, which is being led by the Barbados Employment and Career Counselling Service (BECCS), forms part of Government’s Retooling and Empowering, Retraining and Enfranchising (RERE) scheme under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.
“I have been informed that we are currently experiencing a bottleneck at the point of entry into some of the training institutions. I want to encourage training institutions, both government and non-government, to try as far as possible to increase quotas so that people who are desirous of taking up these training opportunities have the opportunity to do so,” said Jordan.
Stating that it simply “cannot be business as usual”, the labour minister said it was important that training institutions here increase their quota in order to accommodate applicants from BECCS.
“I would also like to encourage other training providers, especially those with accredited programmes, to make your proposals through BECCS to the National Insurance Department for consideration and approval. There is a need for more to be done in this area,” he added.
Speaking specifically to the workshop on Monday, Jordan said it should be seen as a chance for participants to “broaden their skills or to explore possible new avenues of employment and/or self-employment”.
Adding that the Government was focused on the development of citizens “who can operate globally, but remain rooted in Barbadian values”, Jordan said Government had determined that “where jobs are we will find them and seek to unlock the possibilities for our workers”.
“In this digital age, Barbadians must be able to work anywhere in the world. We must become global citizens,” he said.
Pointing to farm labour, hotel-related and meat production employment opportunities in Canada and the USA, Jordan said opportunities would be presented later this month for nurses in the UK when a recruiting firm conducts interviews.
The workshop, which is being held in collaboration with the Human Resource Development Strategy unit, will last for three days, accommodating up to 60 people per session.
The areas covered during Monday’s seminar included financial planning, personal interests and goal setting, job search techniques, CV writing skills, interview techniques and entrepreneurship.
Jordan told participants he was confident the workshop would help them on their journey to better opportunities.
“We know that it will raise your awareness of the kind of assistance that is available to you and where you can access it. In fact, BECCS is currently working to have a system where an employer can view the CVs posted by BECCS’ clients and contact job-seekers for an interview. Likewise, a job-seeker will be able to view vacancies and apply online,” said Jordan.
Yvette Walcott-Dennis, acting Director of the BECCS said the response to the workshop has been very good and promised that there will be more workshops in March for unemployed youth following a similar pattern.
Walcott-Dennis said BECCS would be carrying out some community sessions later this year in those areas where persons can more easily come and offer the same services so that they don’t have to worry about the bus fares.
“There is the need out there especially among the youth. The youth though, it is sometimes difficult to motivate them, especially those who may never have had a job. It is difficult but we do our best to help them to see what is possible,” she said.