In October 2007, the Ministry of Labour engaged in an exercise to gather basic qualitative occupational and skills needs information on five (5) key economic sectors that were determined to be (i) critical pillars of the economy and (ii) key future sources of foreign exchange for Barbados. These sectors were Tourism, International Business, Manufacturing, Cultural Industries and Agriculture.
In that exercise, focus group sessions were held with key stakeholders in the above-mentioned industries. These stakeholders were requested to provide their views on the occupations that were critically needed in their respective industries, both currently and three to five years into the future. Where possible, they were also asked to identify corresponding skills sets and requirements that were needed for each identified occupation. Stakeholders were primarily sourced from umbrella organizations under each sector and included some of the following entities:
- The Barbados Manufacturers Association
- The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados
- Barbados International Business Association
- Barbados Tourism Authority
- National Cultural Foundation
This exercise was further reviewed and updated during the second quarter of 2009. It is envisaged that this exercise will be conducted every 1-2 years to ensure that the information collected remains current and relevant to the changing needs of industry.
The Ministry is of the view that with access to such information, students, job seekers, career planners, guidance counselors and government itself can be provided with a general overview into the short-to-medium-term human resource needs of the those sectors that are regarded to be the "drivers" of the economy, both now and over the next three to five years. These are now provided in tabular form below.