Government’s re-tooling and re-training of retrenched workers sent home under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme will start with 250 workers to be trained in digitization.
The news came this morning from Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology Senator Kay McConney who also noted that Government has partnered with a private company to train this batch of workers.
“In this project that we have with this private sector company, close to 250 persons who would have been separated from their jobs will get first level training in digitization. This means that we are creating a pool of resources in Barbados, not just for Government projects but also so that the private sector can say that they have a pool of players that they can draw from that are trained and certified,” said McConney.
The Government Senator made the revelation while delivering the featured remarks at the Caribbean Institute of Management Consultants, International Consultants conference, which was held at the Accra Beach hotel this morning.
McConney explained that the private sector involvement was motivated solely by their social obligation and she is urging others to follow this example.
“We are re-training and re-tooling where we want to go. We are empowering and enfranchising Barbadians. We are getting support from the private sector who have made it part of their corporate social responsibility to re-train public officers in digitization,” she said.
Last month, president of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Akanni McDowall complained that Government’s promise to introduce the Re-tooling Enfranchisement, Re-training and Empowerment (RERE) programme, was too long in coming.
This morning the Minister made it clear that Government was not asleep at the wheel as it related to the RERE project as well as efforts to modernise the public sector. She revealed that Government has engaged one of the top companies in the field, to aid in this regard.
“We are also as a Government taking new approaches to solving challenges in the public sector and we have in fact engaged one of the leading architects in Scotland’s digital accelerator programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and growth in the tech sector,” said McConney, who noted that Government was leading by example in this regard.
She pointed out that at the Cabinet level, the switch to digital has already taken place.
She added, “We understand that the ground conditions here in Barbados must be right for this digital transformation to take place and one of the most critical is leadership at the highest level of Government. I can assure you that this has already begun.” [email protected]