Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, speaking at a sensitisation workshop for the 2016 Barbados Standard Occupational Classification (BARSOC) at the Cave Hill School of Business today.(A.Olton/MRD)

Barbados now has a new tool to support human resource management and development and enhance the island’s competitiveness.

Dubbed the Barbados Standard Occupational Classification (BARSOC), it was recently revised as one of the initiatives under the Barbados Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy, a programme financed principally through a grant provided by the European Union (EU).

Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, speaking today at a sensitisation workshop to make stakeholders aware of tools accessible to them, said the new 2016 BARSOC replaced the old 1990 version which did not, at that time, reflect those jobs which had emerged in recent years.

Participants at the workshop held at the Cave Hill School of Business, Cave Hill, St. Michael, also heard that BARSOC was patterned after the 2008 International Standard Classification of Occupations, managed by the International Labour Organization, and represents one of the most current occupational classifications in the world.

“A Standard Occupational Classification is a system which supports the objective and accurate definition and evaluation of the duties, responsibilities, tasks and authority level of a job,” said the Minister as he told stakeholders they could access the new BARSOC as a web-based tool on the websites of the Ministry of Labour and the Human Resource Development Strategy.

Stressing there were a number of emerging jobs as a result of emerging industries, he said: “I am sure that you can all appreciate the changes which have occurred in the global economy over the past two or so decades.

They have led to new business processes and new ways of communicating which have resulted in a growing influx of technological occupational areas. We have also seen the broadening of what can be termed, the traditional occupations, like lawyers and accountants, and the expansion in these traditional occupations will move into areas such as intellectual property law and forensic accounting.

“The diversification of the world’s economies and the continuing negative effects of climate change have also unearthed opportunities in new niche areas, such as the green and blue economies. So the changes in landscape of occupations necessitate a continuous review of our labour market information systems, and the need for these systems to provide the necessary information that will enable our employers, our students, our educators, and our training institutions to respond to the needs of a changing economic situation.”

According to the Labour Minister, BARSOC’s overarching goal is to facilitate the provision of a framework for strengthening people and their skills development, improving their employability and the overall productivity of Barbadians.  This goal, he added, must always be facilitated by a labour market system that is accurate, current and meets the needs and demands of industry and its partners.

“Such a labour market information system supports our thrust in the Ministry to move towards a demand-driven educational and training system. The aim of a demand-driven education and training system is to place Barbadians on a learning path which ensures a sustainable future of life-long learning through improved education, knowledge and skills, all of which are aligned to the needs of all sectors of the society and the economy.”

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