With the push to expand the list of skilled CARICOM people eligible for free movement to include security personnel with Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), the Barbados Workers Union has launched CVQ training for local officers.
The launch of the initiative now makes the BWU one of two organizations in Barbados to offer the CVQ in private security service.
As the BWU Frank Walcott Labour College enrolled its first cohort of security guards employed by the Royal Westmoreland Homeowners’ Association, General Secretary Toni Moore revealed that after the first batch of officers receive their certification, the programme will be opened to all security firms across the region.
Moore said: “Although we are based in Barbados, we will be extending the services regionally and throughout the year we hope to have regional participants.
“It is a mobile qualification and it means that you can move throughout the Caribbean.
“It is a means of attaining a job in this profession throughout the Caribbean.”
Moore contended that the private security personnel were among the vulnerable groups that the BWU was seeking to protect and this certification was one way of protecting this class of workers and increase the value of the profession.
She said: “For some time, the Barbados Workers’ Union has been seeking to promote the interest of security officers as one of the vulnerable groups in the labour market.
“This category of worker is not regarded as highly as they ought to be for the important work, they do in protecting property and the person.
“We have been advocating for safeguarding the interest of security officers, calling attention to the important work that they do and more so calling attention to a need for more rights and for these fights to be protected.
“We have to ensure that the officers are equipped with the necessary training to execute their responsibilities.”
But Moore pointed out that as the union took steps to upgrade the profession, officers have an obligation to ensure that their attitudes were in sync with the new outlook of the profession.
The BWU leader added: “[This] Training course is about knowledge skills and attitudes and I must say that attitude is more important sometimes than skills and knowledge.
“Sometimes you have people coming into the workforce with the skills and knowledge but their attitude sucks and that is not going to take you nor the company anywhere.”