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McLeod: Govt using diversification strategy for workforce development

Minister of Labour Errol McLeod has said his Ministry is making a significant contribution to the creation of sustainable jobs and the promotion of decent work.

McLeod said this was being accomplished through the creation of sustainable micro and small enterprises (MSEs), the promotion of co-operatives and expanding avenues for temporary overseas employment.

Speaking at the Workforce Research and Development Symposium held recently at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad) hotel, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, McLeod said the MSEs were positioned to play a key role in Government's diversification strategy.

As part of ongoing efforts in workforce development, the Ministry jointly hosted the symposium with the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training. The symposium addressed: "A new workforce agenda: Towards a National Strategy for Workforce Development and Economic Prosperity".

The Centre for Workforce Research and Development (CWRD) of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, and the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, Washington, DC signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the symposium. The partnership will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise in labour trends and education and training development policies at the national and regional levels, the ministry said in a statement.

In his address at the symposium McLeod said, "Government supports the creation of a Workforce Development Centre to assist in providing research that would guide individuals in their pursuit of careers and provide employers with information required to effectively plan to meet their demand for skills."

He said a well-functioning research centre for workforce development would be an asset that can help economies to compete and grow. He stated that despite challenges, TT had done better than many other countries in the management of the economy. The recent unemployment rate was estimated to be around 5.4 per cent, he said.

Citing the Global Competitiveness Index, McLeod said the index suggested that TT should seek to improve its labour market efficiency including its labour-employer relations and flexibility of wage determination. He pointed out that TT ranked favourably in infrastructure, health and primary education and was strong in the management of its economy, ranking 19th out of 144 countries.

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