BUSINESS MONDAY: Potential for youth to be employed in offshore oil sector

The potential exists for a number of youth to be employed in the offshore oil sector as Barbados pushes ahead in developing the sector.

This assertion came from Minister of Culture, Sports & Youth, Stephen Lashley, as he debated the Offshore Petroleum (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the House of Assembly last week.

“I believe that one of the things the government has been working very feverishly on, is ensuring that we can (make) the relevant technical expertise available to Barbados, to be able to manage and regulate this sector, in a way that will pay the kinds of dividends that are critical for the Barbados economy. And I think that one of the major potential benefits, particularly of involvement in terms of the whole alternative energy, offshore drilling sector, is the potential for the employment of particularly young Barbadians,” Lashley noted.

“This is a particular industry that is not only relevant to Barbados in terms of what we are doing, but certainly training and re-training of our young people in critical and specialist areas within the offshore drilling arena and generally the petroleum sector, will be critical in terms of creating that necessary shift that is necessary for the Barbados’ economy to reposition itself. So I don’t think that you can underestimate by any measure, the importance of the offshore drilling programme, the importance of the energy policy of the government and the importance of use of alternative sources of energy to propel the Barbados economy,” the Minister added.

He meanwhile noted that these new sectors will have to trigger transformation in our local education sector.

“So our energy sector is calling for new and different areas of learning. Our young people now are going to have to be trained and re-tooled towards managing this particular sector and I think that this offers enormous opportunities for our young people and indeed for the Barbados economy to reinvent itself and become relevant in a world that has changed drastically over the past twenty years and we are now playing catch up,” Lashley remarked. (RSM)

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