Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, believes the future of work in Barbados will present both challenges and opportunities.
He made this clear to members of the Barbados Association of Office Professionals (BAOP) last Saturday as he spoke on the topic: The Future of Work: A Barbados Perspective, at Radisson Aquatica Resort, Aquatic Gap, St. Michael.
Minister Jordan was delivering the feature address at the BAOP’s 45th Anniversary Gala, Installation & Name Change Ceremony.
Outlining some of the issues, he said: “We will have to address…new forms of occupational safety and health issues – radiation, cell phone and computer related technology; indoor air quality; muscular-skeletal injuries; the erasing of boundaries between work time and personal time; the lack of physical activity and the resultant explosion in chronic non-communicable diseases, among others.
“There will also be issues of financial literacy because there will be people who want to do their own business, but need to learn how to manage the financial aspects of that business. There are going to be issues of social security protection because increasingly you will not be working for an employer who is going to be deducting your National Insurance and sending it in.”
He further noted it was about ensuring the new worker understood the importance of providing for the future, and there was also the matter of lifelong learning and the need to be flexible in our approach to careers and “recognize the need to constantly retrain and retool”.
Opportunities, he added, would come with the world being a market available to anyone with a product or service that is saleable, and as a result of the internet being “the great leveller”.
“Communication is faster, more efficient and less expensive. Barbados has some of the best broadband connectivity in the entire world. And, there are persons, who are into asset management, who have relocated to Barbados because the technology that is available in Barbados is as good or better as where they have relocated from, and the climate is obviously much better…. That is an advantage that Barbados has, that makes us competitive in the future, in the world of work. We are creative – music, fine arts, culinary. And, we have an excellent educational system,” the Labour Minister said.