Minister: Productivity levels not up to standard
June 9, 2006
Minister: Productivity levels not up to standard

Low productivity of workers here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines seems to be one of the greatest concerns of this country’s Labour Minister René Baptiste.

Baptiste admitted her concern over the magnitude of time wasting by workers during a senior policy forum for senior public workers at the Peace Memorial Hall on Monday, May 29.{{more}}

According to the labour minister, performance and productivity go together in the labour market, she therefore chided workers for not producing to satisfied standards.

“We in St. Vincent and the Grenadines would have to raise our game generally as I do not feel satisfied that we give our full day’s work for a full day’s pay,” Baptiste pointed out.

Baptiste’s ministry is at the nucleus of measures being taken to empower private and public sector leaders to focus on the challenges of international competitiveness. These challenges include wages, prices, employment and productivity, and the Senior Policy Forum was held in furtherance of this cause. The forum was organized with support from the International Labour Organisation and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

Through participation from both the Ministry of Labour and the Tripartite Committee (a grouping of workers and employers), Minister Baptiste is hoping that all the parties involved can be proactive in addressing the issues of productivity.

“I have met with almost all the trade unions in the state and they all agreed that there is a need for better understanding of all the issues surrounding productivity… what this country needs is for all the trade unions and their membership to be proactive on this matter,” Baptiste said.

We have produce more and perform better, she said, in order to heighten our economic output.

According to Baptiste, new trading agreements are going to fall in place much sooner than we can possible imagine, an indication that we must be prepared for their impact.

“I would like us to sharpen our investment readiness and be able to push our investment portfolios … I realise that we may have to refashion parts of our education curriculum and our educational institutions to meet our new needs. In reading the national skills report I am still not satisfied that we have sufficient skills required to help to carry forward this challenge,” Baptiste acknowledged.