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News - The Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy 2011 - 2016
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Labour News.

The Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy 2011 - 2016


The Government of Barbados continues to place considerable emphasis on the development of human and social capital, particularly through the making of significant investment in education and labour force development.  The Government is particularly committed to increasing the number of secondary and tertiary level students with the appropriate knowledge, skills and competencies to either successfully enter the job market or to actively pursue an opportunity for self-employment.  To this end, Government has embarked on a multi-year European Union sponsored Project, with the intention of further developing its human resource. The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, along with the Ministry of Labour are the primary entities that have been charged with the responsibility of managing and co-ordinating the activities that will be undertaken throughout the life of this project.

Previously, the development of human capital in Barbados was driven by various agencies without an overarching cross-sector development strategy.  For the first time, Barbados is using a multi-sector approach, facilitated by a harmonised Human Resource Development Strategy to guide the process.  This approach involves the execution of several crucial development initiatives by different Ministries and private and public entities, who aim to improve the collective development of Barbados' human resources in key areas such as Technical and Vocational Education, Financial Services, International Business, Information and Communication Technology, Health and the Hospitality sectors.

The Strategy is based on international best practices and adopts a holistic and multi-sector approach that embraces lifelong learning and strengthens links between education and the world of work.  It further establishes cross-sectoral links among the lead human resource development agencies and focuses on synergies, knowledge sharing, and complementarities of financing mechanisms.




The vision of the strategy is as follows:

“An efficient, well-coordinated, effective, knowledge-led, and demand driven Human Resource Development system responsive to global conditions and Barbadian aspirations”



The mission of the strategy is as follows:

“To develop national, institutional and human capacity so that the potential of all Barbadians is fully realised”

A number of critical activities have been identified in order to achieve the specific objectives of the Human Resource Development Strategy. These activities are often referred to as the five pillars of the Human Resource Development Strategy. They are now outlined as follows:


1.       Enabling Environment for Human Resource Development: The Government of Barbados will implement a broad-based human resource development strategy with significant emphasis on institutional strengthening and capacity building of leading human resource development agencies.


2.       National Qualifications Framework: A national qualifications framework will be formulated to increase standardisation and quality assurance of educational programmes.  Emphasis will be placed on the use of competence-based training, and the upgrade and expansion of training facilities so that qualifications for matriculation and employment opportunities will now incorporate academic and occupational outcomes.


3.       Demand-Driven Professional Development and Training: All employees in the public and private sectors will be provided with opportunities for continual professional development and educational opportunities that are in keeping with industry standards and are aimed at developing appropriate skills, competencies, and attitudes.  Educator training and preparation will be a priority to correct skill deficiencies such as technology integration across the curriculum, and the infusion of life skills, competency-based teaching, and use of alternative assessment methods as critical aspects of the instructional methodology.  Special attention will also be given to the expansion of second chance education opportunities for all categories of persons.


4.       Knowledge Management Systems: A comprehensive national knowledge management system will be created to ensure effective knowledge management practices and procedures are followed in the public and private sectors.  This system will be utilised to form the basis of decision-making and will include monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for constant review for improvement. 


5.       Research, Innovation, Entrepreneurship Capacity: The Government of Barbados recognises the role that a new culture of enterprise, entrepreneurship, innovation, and research has to play in the national development thrust.  Under the fifth pillar, the Government of Barbados is promoting research, entrepreneurship and innovation education at the secondary and post-secondary levels, with a view to increasing the number of small and medium size enterprises contributing to economic growth.





Expected Benefits of the Project to the Ministry of Labour

Upon the completion of the Human Resource development project, it is envisaged that several benefits will be realised, particularly to the Ministry of Labour and its satellites. Some of the expected benefits will include:

  • The expansion of the National Vocational Qualifications system
  • The implementation of a National Competence based education and training system
  • The enhancement of the Barbados Labour Market Information System
  • The enhancement of the National Employment Bureau
  • The delivery of a National Qualifications framework
  • The upgrade and delivery of the Barbados Standard Occupational Classification System  (BARSOC)
  • The establishment of a central co-ordinating career planning and counselling centre
  • The development of a National Qualifications Register that will list all qualifications offered by training institutions in Barbados
  • The formulation of an action plan that will assess and make recommendations for improving on the delivery of second chance education and training and....
  • The development of an information system to provide timely and accurate data to support the growth of SMEs

Published: Tuesday, 15th February, 2011


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