Govt signs MOU with UWI for research, training purposes
The Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to facilitate research and provide training for employees working in the public service.
Speaking at the ceremony which took place on Wednesday afternoon at Ilaro Court, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley indicated that retraining must be the order of the day to facilitate productivity and growth in the country.
“A Barbados of 2019, about to enter the third decade of the 21st century cannot replicate the precepts of the plantation system in the management of our offices or our institutions. It will not unleash the productivity… it cannot unlock the productivity and the creation of wealth that this country needs to move to the next stage and to transform,” she stated.
PM Mottley’s added, “A colonial public service that is as hierarchical in structure as the plantation system cannot unlock and unleash the productivity and the creation of wealth in this country”.
Her comments came as she reiterated her position that productivity in this country is not a “quantitative issue to bedevil us”, but rather a “qualitative issue that is rooted culturally”. She said persons must come to work knowing what their duties and roles are, and be prepared to give the highest level of excellence in what they do. She made the point while indicating that regrettably, the public service has hired some people who come to the job and are never told what they are supposed to do. She maintained that this must become a thing of the past.
“I am happy that the public service has responded positively to our desire to refocus it and we have settled recently a new vision and a new mission statement which will be shared with every single public servant and which helps define what the mission is. Our vision simply put – The Barbados Public Service, a model of excellence in innovation, service and leadership. That is the vision we have for this public service. Is it already there? No it isn’t. Can we get there? Of course we can. But we get there by being clear as to the mission,” she insisted.
With that in mind, she referred to the new mission statement which she indicated is simple and capable of being understood, appreciated and embraced by every employee in the public service as well as political appointees.
“The mission simply is this – We come to work, to make a positive difference in the lives of our people. We will make this difference by delivering world class service in a creative way that is fair and honest. We will treat those who we serve just as we would wish to be treated and excellence shall always be our hallmark,” she stated.
The PM continued, “However which way you take that, cut it, dissect it, turn it around, what is it really telling you – you must come to work; that excellence must be your hallmark; you must treat people how you want to be treated; you must think outside the box; you must be fair to everybody you are working with and who you are working for; and you must be honest”.
Mottley maintained that retraining is needed not only in the public service, but the private sector as well and she said the training colleges run by the trade unions are well poised to be used, to help reach the widest cross section of people. She made the point while contending that if they are not “reaching scale” they are not transforming the workforce or the nation as is needed. She made the point while noting that the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology as well as the informal modalities that exist, have a role to play in advancing that training and drive towards excellence. (JRT)