Retrenched workers urged to explore options overseas
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, has given the assurance that persons interested in employment overseas will be facilitated.
He was speaking at a press conference on the work and effort of the Labour Department and his Ministry last week.
Acknowledging that his Ministry was aware that given the retrenchment process, people would look to overseas employment, he said the Barbados Employment and Career Counselling Service (BECCS), formerly known as the National Employment Bureau, seeks to find decent work for all Barbadians through the provision of job placement services for both local and overseas employment.
Noting that his Ministry had been exploring possibilities, he said just recently they had been involved in interviews on the issue of employment overseas, adding that these were in relation to a hotel overseas as well as the traditionally known Farm Labour Programme or the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Programme, in Canada.
“We actually had a review meeting recently in St. Lucia, about three weeks ago … and Barbados made its position very clear that we wanted to make sure that we had opportunities for those persons who may want to leave and seek employment outside of Barbados,” he disclosed.
The Minister made it clear that even though the country did not want a brain drain, government recognized that persons would want work experiences outside of the island or wherever these could be found.
Stating that they remained committed to seeking out these opportunities, he said Barbados would have met with the Canadian liaison officers and others in Miami to find meaningful and decent work for Barbadians who want to explore those possibilities.
“And, yes, especially at a time when persons are being separated from the public service, there is an increased need to make sure that those persons have opportunities if they have the desire to seek employment outside of Barbados. And as a caring administration, we continue to do all in our power to make sure that as many opportunities as possible become and remain available to our people,” Mr. Jordan stressed.
Commending the work of the Labour Department, the Minister said it sought to build capacity and educate workers and employers about the legislation that governs the world of work and the relations in the workplace between workers and those who employ them.
Noting that his Ministry also aims to have a harmonious workplace that contribute to the development of the country and provide for the sustenance of those who work and those who invest, he said for this to happen, conflict had to be identified and addressed.
“So, the Labour Department spends a significant amount of time working with parties to understand what has caused the conflict; what the views of the different sides are and then attempting to broker a resolution so that people can get back to a situation where they are working comfortably and productively and that there are benefits for both the worker and the business or other organization,” Minister Jordan explained.