Central Bank Governor calls for increase in labour productivity

Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, made these observations yesterday, at the opening of the National Productivity Council’s Annual Week of Excellence at the Grande Salle.

“The most comprehensive report on global competitiveness is the Global Competitive Report, published by the World Economic Forum. In its 2014-15 Report, Barbados ranks Number 55 in the world, and highest in the English-speaking Caribbean,” Dr. Worrell stated on the one hand.

“However, Barbados has not made commensurate progress in terms of labour productivity. We have seen increases in output for each unit of labour in the past decade, but they have only been sufficient to enable us to maintain our standing in the late forties to early fifties in the competitive ranking. In today’s world, you cannot prosper by standing still. Faster growth in the productivity of our labour force is necessary, if we are to further improve our relative competitiveness,” the Central Bank Governor stressed on the other.

Increasing labour productivity, he said, is also essential to improving the living standards of our workforce.

“Barbados is a prosperous economy, ranked Number 59 in the world in terms of human development by the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. Our continuing prosperity depends on our ability to import the things we need to enable our lifestyles. If workers are to improve their lot, each one of us must contribute more to the production of goods and services, so that our gain is not at the expense of others,” he maintained.

He, however, acknowledged that increasing labour productivity is at the heart of Barbados’ development strategy and it will enable us to become even more successful in an increasingly competitive international market and will also allow workers to share in the fruits of that increased competitiveness. He, however, stated that this increase in labour productivity will be difficult to achieve, because it is about quality, engagement and commitment.

“Some time ago, a NISE survey told us that only 30 per cent of the Barbadian workforce feels fully committed to their jobs. There is no evidence to suggest that the situation has improved since that survey was done. The problem is especially acute in the public service. In the Global Competitiveness Report previously alluded to, the inefficiency of our Government bureaucracy is identified as the most damaging factor for doing business in Barbados. Each and every public servant should resolve to play their part in improving that statistic,” the Governor remarked.

Noting however that the future of our economy looks promising, what is required, he said, is that “we each commit to doing the very best of which we are capable, each and every day”.

“National Productivity Week is an occasion for us to remind ourselves of this responsibility to our country, our community, our families and ourselves. Let us go forward with confidence, to seize the time, and the opportunity,” the Governor concluded. 


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