The country’s top economic advisor is suggesting changes to the education system in order to generate a more productive workforce and a more competitive economy.
Speaking recently at the launch of the 2018 Week of Excellence, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Cleviston Haynes focused on the country’s declining economic fortunes, stressing that prompt, decisive and corrective action was needed to facilitate building the foreign exchange reserves, engendering renewed confidence by domestic and foreign investors and bolstering private sector investment and infrastructural development.
In order to achieve this, he said, increased productivity must be a priority for the authorities.
“Productivity would be enhanced as workers are able to embrace new skills. The role of our education system would become critical . . . as we prepare citizens to be adaptable to changes in technology that are likely to come on stream in the future,” Haynes told those gathered at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle of the Central Bank for the launch.
“At the same time, by investing in the raising of the knowledge, skills and abilities of workers, firms can help develop workers that can operate at a higher level, thereby raising the national output of our economy,” he added.
Haynes also stressed the need for a greater level of local and foreign investment to keep the economy afloat, but lamented Barbados ranking of 132 out of 190 countries on the ease of doing business scale, warning this was “incompatible with our goal to create an investment-friendly environment”.
The leading economist called for a review of existing policies, and increased use of technology to speed up the delivery of services.
“This requires our firms to innovate by seeking to move away from old business models and old systems of operating and instead move towards the development of new ideas and business models, taking onboard technological advances as they present themselves,” Haynes said.