The sudden closure of the Barbados Productivity Council will not reduce the focus on productivity in Barbados.
In fact, according to Minister of Labour Colin Jordan, the decision to close the state-run entity will result in a greater emphasis being placed on productivity.
He made the comments during a tour of Oran Limited’s Harbour Road, Bridgetown headquarters this morning, along with several other senior ministry officials.
“The change in the structure in terms of not having a National Productivity Council does not mean there is not a focus on productivity. There is a focus on productivity now even more than before,” Jordan emphasized.
“Whereas the Barbados Productivity Council has closed, the focus on productivity has not disappeared.”
The minister explained that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment would now be responsible for dealing with matters related to productivity.
“The focus on productivity continues. That focus will now be part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment. The issue is probably even more important now than before because we are in the early stages of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme and that programme speaks to increasing efficiency, increasing productivity, growing our GDP, enhancing life for the people in the country by building businesses and growing back confidence in the country and restoring Barbados to the leadership role that the country is accustomed to having,” he explained.
Jordan said the Social Partnership had been consulted before the decision had been taken to close the council.
He said while the Social Partnership had agreed to the proposed changes, the topic of productivity would still be discussed on a regular basis during its meetings.
“The Social Partnership when it met to discuss the change in our approach to the structure around driving productivity, would have agreed that the focus on productivity and raising efficiency should reside in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, but that the Social Partnership in its meetings would discuss it as an item that would be on the agenda from time to time,” the minister noted.
“Barbados is at a point where we cannot just continue doing things just because that’s the way we’ve always done them. That is a recipe for getting the same bad results that we have gotten in the past.”
Jordan said Government had also previously engaged the public through an online survey, in which thousands participated. He said judging from the results of that survey, most Barbadians agreed there was a need to change the country’s approach to productivity.
“We would have engaged the public to ask some questions on how Government should look as we move forward. I think Barbadians generally realize that things have to be done differently.
“They indicated to us that while we needed to focus on productivity, it could be better done and more efficiently done in a different format. So the focus on productivity does not go away. It is just going to be done in a different form,” Jordan said.