Higher labour force productivity necessary
FASTER GROWTH in the level of productivity of Barbados’ labour force is necessary, if the country is to further improve its relative competitiveness.
This view was expressed on Monday by Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr DeLisle Worrell, as he addressed the opening of the Week of Excellence at the Grande Salle.
Worrell said that in the 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum, Barbados ranked Number 55 in the world, and highest in the English-speaking Caribbean.
“However, Barbados has not made commensurate progress in terms of labour productivity. We have seen increases in output for each unit of labour, in the past decade. But, they have only been sufficient to enable us to maintain our standing in the late forties to early fifties in the competitive ranking. In today’s world, you cannot prosper by standing still,” he told his audience.
He stressed that increasing labour productivity was also essential to improving the living standards of the workforce. Describing Barbados as a prosperous economy, he noted that continuing prosperity depended on the ability of citizens to import the things needed to enable their lifestyles.
“Increasing labour productivity is therefore at the heart of Barbados’ development strategy. It will enable us to become even more successful in an increasingly competitive international market and it will also allow workers to share in the fruits of that increased competitiveness. This increase in labour productivity will be difficult to achieve because it is about quality, engagement and commitment,” he opined.
Worrell pointed out that a NISE survey carried out some time ago had indicated that only 30 per cent of the Barbadian workforce felt fully committed to their jobs. He added that the problem was especially acute in the public service, and noted that the Global Competitiveness Report identified the inefficiency of Government bureaucracy as the most damaging factor for doing business in Barbados. “Each and every public servant should resolve to play their part in improving that statistic,” he insisted.
The Governor said the future of Barbados’ economy looked promising, and encouraged all Barbadians to commit to doing their best each and every day. (BGIS)