Thursday 29 October, 2020

Culture Minister: Do not dwell on layoffs

Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, John King, is urging Barbadians not to view government’s retrenchment exercise as the end of the world. 

In fact, Minister King said more jobs are going to be created across the island, especially in the creative industry. 

King spoke to the media on the sidelines of the opening of the art exhibition "The Arrivants - Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World" at the Barbados Museum on Thursday. 

Government had signaled their intention to merge the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority (BCIDA) and the Commission for Pan-African Affairs into the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) while the Gymnasium Limited would be incorporated into the National Sports Council (NSC).  

King did not state an exact figure for layoffs in these state-owned entities but he said the restructuring process is not expected to have a significant impact.  

“Obviously we have to look at the places where we have duplication and those are places where you may get those layoffs. The same for BCIDA and NCF. The good thing about it is that we don’t much of that to look at, so layoffs are not a huge problem for us.” 

What is more important about these mergers … is that the purpose for both sport and culture is to find new ways put more money into this economy.” 

He said the mergers are intended to make government “fit for purpose” and the Ministry as well as the country will bounce back. He urged Barbadians “not to dwell on the notion of job losses”.  

“Fear not, Barbados is a very resilient place... this is one of those small periods where we go through some downs.” 

King said over the next two years the cultural industries will create more jobs than ever, most of which will be driven by the private sector.  

He said sports and culture must take front seat in the recovery and transformation of the economy, adding “sport cannot be just recreation and culture cannot be just limited to Crop Over and NIFCA”.




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