barbados flagBARBADOS
Govern Ment of Barbados Ministry of Labour

  • Friday January 19, 2018 01:28:03 am
users Additional Features
Tip of the day
Persons who are temporarily absent from a job or business for such reasons as illness, vacation, strike, study training or maternity leave are categorised as employed

News - The Barbados Decent Work Country Programme : A Short Overview
print friendly e-mail this page

Labour News.

The Barbados Decent Work Country Programme : A Short Overview




The Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) is essentially an initiative of the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O), designed to assist Caribbean countries in charting a clear path out of the global economic crisis, through the pursuit of decent work goals which were agreed upon by the major social partners. To date, Caribbean countries like the Bahamas and those of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States have formulated such programmes.


The DWCP of Barbados was formulated through the assistance and consultations with the major social partners, culminating in the identification of five priority areas that would be critical in helping Barbados to achieve decent work goals. For each of these five areas, the I.L.O has offered to support Barbados in their attainment.  These areas have been identified in a “decent work country matrix” and are provided below as follows:



(i)          strengthening national employment policies as well as laws and policies to facilitate enterprise creation;


(ii)         enhancing competency-based technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and lifelong learning;


(iii)        developing a culture of entrepreneurship and strengthening local entrepreneurs to be competitive in existing and new economic activities;


(iv)       strengthening the capacity of the tripartite partners to contribute to economic and social development and improving public awareness of their roles and functions; and


(v)        promoting policy coherence.

In the identification of the five priority areas, the National Strategic Plan of Barbados 2006-2025 was frequently cross-referenced, to ensure that the priorities contained in the DWCP were in harmony with the goals outlined in the National Strategic Plan. Indeed, the DWCP notes that the National Strategic Plan


“provides a long term developmental framework in which to anchor the Decent Work Country Programme”


Of note is the fact that a perusal of the DWCP reveals that it is well grounded on the four key tenets of decent work which are:


  • Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • Employment Creation
  • Social Protection and
  • Social Dialogue


An overview of the contents of the above mentioned five priority areas are now provided in a bit more detail:


Priority One: Strengthening Employment Policies:- Under this component, Barbados will achieve the goal of full employment, with employment policies being incorporated into development frameworks. Specific activities that will be pursued include the provision of support services for the enhancement of the labour market information system and the strengthening of the capacity of the National Employment Bureau to deliver quality local and overseas employment services to Barbadian citizens


Priority Two: Development of skills in competency-based education and training and assessment for Caribbean Vocational Qualifications:- This segment seeks to enhance technical and vocational education and training (TVET), promote lifelong learning, and equip the labour force with the skills to function in the global economy. The TVET Council will be strengthened to build upon its existing capacity to deliver competency based education and training and competency based assessments.  This will involve the expansion of Training-of-Trainer programmes and the implementation of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Systems.



Priority Three: Develop a culture of entrepreneurship and strengthen local entrepreneurs to be competitive in existing and new economic activities:- Under this priority, Barbados will develop a new culture of entrepreneurship and cadres of local business entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial development policies and programmes will be implemented and the delivery of entrepreneurship education will be encouraged. In addition, support will be provided to relevant institutions to undertake research, identify new areas of economic activity and provide support services to small businesses



Priority Four: Strengthening the capacity of the tripartite partners and improving public awareness of their roles and functions:- Under this priority, the Labour Ministry, the Workers’ Organisations and the Employers’ Organisation will be strengthened to ensure the effective delivery of their core functions. Several benefits will be realized under this priority, such as the application of up-to-date labour legislation, training in labour related areas such as Occupational Safety and Health and the receipt of technical advice in the conduct of research in a wide variety of areas.


Priority Five: Promoting Policy Coherence:- Under this priority, Barbados will adopt an integrated approach to the design and implementation of social and economic policies and programmes that are anchored in the Decent Work Agenda. Such a priority will be dependent on effective information dissemination amongst key labour stakeholders and the public, in order that information gaps are either eliminated or kept to a minimum.


In conclusion, it is envisaged that through the attainment of the five priority areas, a clear path of recovery out of the crisis can be charted. Moreover, the activities contained in the DWCP can serve to lay the foundation for the embracing of decent work in Barbados. A critical factor in the achievement of the goals will be the institutional strengthening of several key agencies that are critical to the further development of the labour force, such as like the National Employment Bureau. 


Monitoring and evaluation of progress made towards the attainment of the priority areas will be important and periodic reports will be formulated in order that objective assessments can be made of Barbados’ successful attainment of the outlined priority areas.

Published: Monday, 28th February, 2011


Jobseeker or Employer

RegisterReset Password

Join Our Mailing List:


News Scroller

HIV/AIDS in the workplace












3rd Floor West, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados | Tel: (246) 535-1400 | Fax: (246) 535-1573 | E-Mail: