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News - Updating the Barbados Standard Occupation Classification System
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Labour News.

Updating the Barbados Standard Occupation Classification System

Updating the Barbados Standard Occupation Classification System


In any plan for the future, questions about possible career choices will always cross your mind. What job do I qualify for? What job allows me to do the things that I love or that I am interested in? What is the next step in my career? To answer questions like these and many more, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has updated its occupational classification system, the B.A.R.S.O.C.


What is the B.A.R.S.O.C..?


This publication identifies and classifies various types of occupations that can be found throughout the Barbados labour market. It provides the reader with a summarized description of an occupation, along with the specific tasks and duties that each occupation performs. The qualifications required to do the job in an effective manner are also provided. However, in the updated document, greater details will be provided including:


  • Machinery, tools and equipment used in the performance of each job.
  • The physical demands of the job.
  • The environmental conditions in which each job is performed.
  • The extent to which the job can be performed by persons with specific disabilities.
  • An approximate wage or salary for each listed occupation.
  • A list of related occupations that perform similar tasks and duties to each identified occupation in the B.A.R.S.O.C.


The updating of the occupational classification system was part of a wider project called the Caribbean Labour Market Information System (C.L.M.I.S.). This project was sponsored by the International Labour Organization (I.L.O.) and its main objective was to strengthen the capacity of Caribbean Labour Ministries to deliver timely and accurate labour market information to the general public.


The B.A.R.S.O.C itself will be updated in a series of stages. Sectors that were first targeted for initial update included the Hotel sector, Construction, Financial Services, Agriculture and Information Technology. On completion of these sectors, other economic sectors will be analyzed until eventually, all economic sectors will have been surveyed. Additionally, the Ministry of Labour intends to update the document every two to three years to keep abreast of the changes that are continually occurring in the local labour market.


The last B.A.R.S.O.C. was published in 1990. Since then, the business environment has been revolutionized through technology and several jobs throughout the labour market have become more technical and complex. Consequently, the nature of jobs and job descriptions has changed. Desk jobs of pushing pens on paper have now evolved into pushing buttons and glaring at monitors. In addition to typewriters, typists and receptionists, for example, are now generally required to be proficient in computer software applications such as “Microsoft Word” or “Corel Word Perfect”.


In addition, new occupations have been created that require the use of new technology.  The increased prevalence of computers and the internet has created a need for a variety of new occupations in Information Technology such as Systems Analysts, Web Page designers and Network Administrators. Even in the construction sector, there are innovative occupations being created such as “Drawing Office Supervisors”, who use computer assisted techniques and drafting skills in the preparation of building plans.



Who Will Use B.A.R.S.O.C.?


Originally, B.A.R.S.O.C. was developed for statistical and classification purposes and for use in the 1990 Housing and Population Census.  However, BARSOC is a valuable reference tool for:


Guidance Counselors, school leavers, career planners, jobseekers and the unemployed. These users can utilize B.A.R.S.O.C. to make informed decisions on possible career choices and to plot future career paths. These users can also source the document to research the tasks and duties that persons in a specific occupation are expected to perform.


Policy Makers, who can use the document as a guide in both manpower and human resource planning.


Trade unions and employers, who can use the document as a reference guide in the negotiations of contracts of employment for workers and for wage negotiation exercises.


Personnel or human resources managers, who can use it as a guide when developing job descriptions for employees in the workplace.


Foreign investors, who are interested in establishing business operations on the island, can use the document to evaluate the skills, knowledge, qualifications and abilities that local workers are expected to possess.


CARICOM nationals, who may be considering searching for employment in the local labour market, will have a guide as to the skills, competencies and qualifications they are expected to have if they pursue employment opportunities in Barbados.


When Will The New And Improved B.A.R.S.O.C. Be Made Available?


The collection of information for B.A.R.S.O.C. involves surveys of various economic sectors and is a complicated process. However, it is envisaged that the information from the updated classification should be made available to the general public in the near future.


Published: Sunday, 14th May, 2006


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