“We’re encouraging people to look for opportunities beyond Barbados and there are Caribbean territories that require that skilled labour. A lot of skilled labour from Barbados come here (to T&T). They go back and forth, and we are encouraging them to look for those opportunities.”
Barbados Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler speaking to T&T bankers
We’ve seen the cycle repeated for a long, long time. Barbados has way more people than this little rock can accommodate in space, resources and economy – so anytime in our history when there is a pull-back in the economy (as there is now), thousands of Bajans leave for better circumstances.
That happened when the Panama Canal was being carved from the jungle at the cost of 500 dead Bajans per mile, and it happened in the 1950’s and 1960’s when the lure of working in the UK took thousands of our best and brightest people away – most never to return.
Who leaves Barbados during these migrations?
Those who can find work over and away – and that mostly excludes the lazy, the timid, the uneducated. Our best young people go and then they get settled in and start families abroad and that is the end of that. Nevermind the government’s good intentions to connect with the Bajan diaspora: once they go we don’t see or benefit much from the majority of them apart from some vacations or later retirement back home.
Finance Minister Sinckler’s statements in Trinidad are a message for young, skilled and educated Bajans: there is nothing here for you and won’t be for some time.
I’m too old to go and I’ve done enough travelling for ten normal lifetimes, but Cliverton and his friends talk about little else lately. It didn’t have to be this bad, but the politicians bought us with our own money and taught our people that “guvment do it”.
S0 the government coffers are empty and these same politicians have borrowed all they can. The government jobs must go, and so must the hungry mouths. So says our Minister of Finance between sips of champagne and more than a few bites of caviar on little toastees.
TT Guardian: Barbados is open to labour talks with T&T