A Government Minister believes that more young persons need to sign up to serve as a part of essential services teams on the island which remain understaffed.
Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson spoke to the media at a Regional Workshop for Heads Of Disaster Agencies and Child Protection Focal Points at United Nations House, Balmoral Gap, Christ Church when he noted that the Prison Service, Barbados Fire Service, and the Royal Barbados Police Force are understaffed and require young Barbadians to come on board.
“We need more policemen about 250. There is a shortage of prison officers about 40, there is a shortage of firemen but the fire academy has a consistent programme of training people. These are services where people obviously serve our country, so we encourage people to come in and join. These are noble professions,” he said.
The MP for St James North said there were no retrenchments in these essential services on the island.
“Those three areas that I mentioned to you have not experienced retrenchments. All we can do is encourage young people that these are noble professions in which they can serve,” Hinkson said.
The Minister said a budget of BDS$4million has been allocated to ensuring that schools used as hurricane shelters are up to standard as the season quickly approaches.
Hinkson told the media Government is still fine-tuning its National Shut Down Policy in preparation for the season..
“We still working on finalizing it. I believe my permanent secretary will be meeting with the chief parliamentary office during this week to respond to a couple queries the office had in terms of it.”