ILO Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Claudia Coenjaerts, said the employability project will provide an environment for enhancing skills and therefore making it easier for persons to be reinserted in the labour markets. (GP)

Government’s Employability Project fits well within the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) policy framework, says ILO Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Claudia Coenjaerts.

Addressing the launch of the Employability Project, on Wednesday, Ms. Coenjaerts pointed out that the ILO policy framework to tackle the COVID-19 crisis was based on international labour standards and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

She noted that this consisted of four pillars, which are: stimulating the economysupporting enterprises, jobs and incomesprotecting workers in the workplace; and relying on social dialogue for solutions.

While stressing that to be most effective these four pillars had to work simultaneously and reinforce each other, the ILO official said: “But clearly the role of government and the social partners in defining how to get out of the crisis and how to exactly build on the opportunities that present themselves is crucial, and of course, the Ministry that is leading this initiative has a very particularly important role because you do bring together social dialogue, social partnerships and civil society.

“And, the employability project that we are celebrating today is a perfect fit within this framework.  It really is intended to provide an environment for enhancing skills and therefore making it easier for young people and others to be reinserted in the labour markets,” she said.

Ms. Coenjaerts further pointed out that there was an opportunity to use the momentum from the COVID-19 pandemic to make some of the changes that were needed for a long time.  

“We need better systems of social protection; we need more attention to green and blue jobs; we need more efforts to provide lifelong learning to workers; we need better use of technology for job creation, and also for governments as they service populations.”

Acknowledging that the ILO was happy to work with the Ministry on the initiative, she stressed: “We were very encouraged by the sense of enthusiasm and urgency to really get this moving.  And I do believe very much that this is an opportunity to pilot something that can become much more extensive….”

“I believe it is really an initiative in which we have the opportunity to inject many more resources to help Barbados make the shift to preparing for a future of work that works for all and in which training and the use of technology play a central role.”

Meanwhile, Director, ILO Decent Work Teams and Office for the Caribbean, Lars Johansen, described the project as a contribution to the efforts of the Government of Barbados to shape an inclusive and employment-oriented recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Johansen further noted that the Ministry’s objective to follow up with a sample of the trainees and provide them with additional employment services was itself an innovation.

“This is part of the active labour market policies that provide positive results to improve the employment and life trajectory of workers, particularly those in emerging and developing countries,” he stated.

The project is a collaborative effort on the part of the ILO, the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations and it is being offered freely on the platform of the National Training Initiative.

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