Need for ‘higher-skilled’ workers could be on the rise in Barbados

Ads for financial services jobs seem to be increasing but labour official highlights that workplace safety is just as crucial as job market in road to recovery 

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — There could be an emerging trend of increasingly high demand for workers with higher skill levels as the nation aims to return to some sense of normalcy nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

During an exclusive interview with CaribbeanEmployment.com, Barbados Chief Labour Officer Claudette Hope-Greenidge was asked about the matter.

While stressing that the subject is not one she could speak to with authority, Hope-Greenidge said, “Well, I wouldn’t be able to speak with a lot of certainty or authority on job market and recovery, but if you look at our daily newspapers, what I’ve noticed is that in the financial services sector, there seems to be some particular demand.

“I haven’t analyzed it myself, but you tend to see those ads and you’re seeing quite a few ads for higher-skilled persons.

“So, I guess that points to that something is happening in the job market, but I can’t say if it’s pointing to recovery or if there are certain niches where things are happening.”

However, Hope-Greenidge highlighted that the labour market is not the only factor that needs to be focused on in the move towards recovery from the pandemic’s effects, as workplace health and safety standards are also critical.

“In all of it, we’re looking at things like job market and legislation and so on. The industry relations component in terms of layoffs and maybe uncertainty in that area, but what we also need to look at to give a comprehensive overall look in the world of work is not to underrate the importance of maintaining proper occupational safety and health standards right now,” the labour official said.

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    She underscored that the nation is still “dealing with a public health issue with quite a few — I don’t want to say consequences, but implications for the world of work, including how occupational safety and health is managed to secure the health, safety and welfare of the employees and also to secure the continuity of business”.

    In fact, Hope-Greenidge asserted, employers ensuring that their safety committees, departments or relevant teams are fully functional and appropriately managed “goes a long way to showing that we cannot really go through the pandemic in the world of work context without paying very strict attention to the occupational health and safety dimension”.

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