Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Alyson Forte. (FP)

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Alyson Forte, believes that “if children are trained up in the way they should go, when they are old, they will not depart from it” is applicable to the world of work.

He emphasized this today at the start of the ministry’s Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategic Planning workshop, at the Cave Hill School of Business, Cave Hill Campus, St. Michael.

With the workshop focused on Workforce Preparation and Progression in respect of the youth, Mr. Forte said Barbados, like countries across the globe, recognized that there was a high youth unemployment rate, especially among females, and preparation for the world of work had to be examined.

He said: “Transitioning to the world of work is something that we certainly have to look at – how are we going to get our young people from our colleges and our universities into the world of work, and how to transition them into this arena and the whole question of apprenticeships and internships.  Those are some of the things that no doubt would be important and certainly we, in the Ministry of Labour, are looking at that [with] First Job Initiatives; how are we going to get our young people a taste of the world of work; how are we going to influence them?”

While stressing that it called for education from as early as in the primary schools, the official noted it was also about teaching students the importance of work – ethics, doing a good job for the pay expected, respect of authority, respect for their fellow worker, being able to challenge the circumstances in a responsible way, and knowing their responsibilities and any entitlements.

“Those are some of the things that I suppose would be very important as we are looking towards the whole question of transitioning into the world of work, throughout the various phases of work, and then transitioning from work to retirement, from the different modes of work that we are accustomed to – the whole question of people working from home, or flexitime….  These are some of the things that are going to characterize the world of work going forward,” Mr. Forte said.

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