The committee set up to monitor the performance of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme has recommended that Government re-engineer its process of layoffs when retrenchments are over.
Speaking on behalf the BERT Monitoring Committee on Friday at the Wildey offices of Sagicor, co-chair Ed Clarke suggested that the way the process is managed must also change.
He said that process should include appropriately equipping the workforce with the requisite skills and resources, insisting that this was necessary to ensure the desired transformation was achieved.
“I am very happy to see that Senator Kay McConnie [Minister of Innovation], during the Estimates debate, highlighted seven key ministries and departments. And these are the Immigration Department, the Registry, the Royal Barbados Police Force, the international business sector, Customs, Town and Country Planning and the Licensing Authority, as the seven key areas that will be addressed in the next fiscal year,” Clarke said.
He said the committee looked forward to much-needed transformation in those areas.
“In our opinion, the foregoing elements, in addition to the creation of a more favourable environment for increased business activity, can contribute meaningfully to placing Barbados on a sustainable growth trajectory,” Clarke told reporters.
His co-chair, Senator Toni Moore who represents labour on the committee, expressed concern about the current process of retrenchments.
“The process is still a concern in a number of areas because, as has been stated before, we understand haste, we understand the need in some respects for some things to be done, yet how the process has been undertaken remains a cause for concern,” said the General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU).
She told reporters that while the committee’s role was not to influence the process, she could do so separately as BWU leader.
“Certainly, in my area as labour, our negotiations are seeking to pace and temper arrangements in such a way that we don’t achieve only the objectives of speed, but we deliver a Barbados that still has its principles and its legislation governing employment relationships intact, once we are finished,” she stressed.
Moore revealed that 953 people have so far been retrenched and more are expected to go home by the end of April. (EJ)