Government to reform productivity and work ethic nationwide

The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development is pleased to announce that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is currently putting in place a programme of multi sectorial activities to enhance the overall levels of Productivity and standard of Work Ethic in Trinidad and Tobago. The issue of low productivity has negatively affected our nation for decades in both private and the public sectors which have in some ways delayed the overall development of Trinidad and Tobago. In response to this grave issue, the Government established the National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC) in keeping with Theme II:  Delivering Good Governance and Service Excellence of the National Development Strategy, Vision 2030. Since March 2016, The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis has successfully Chaired this Council to solidify relationships between the private sector, the labour movement and the Government, a key driving force towards behavior change to create autonomous, innovative and entrepreneurial citizens.

A recent study undertaken by NTAC shows that, between the years 1990 and 2016, Trinidad and Tobago’s Annual Average Growth Rates of Productivity stood at 3.7%. The average between the years 1990 and 2000 was 3.4%. Between the years 2000 and 2010 the average rose dramatically to 5.9% but declined just as dramatically to a low of 0.5% between the years 2010 and 2016. Between the years 1990 and 2016 Trinidad and Tobago ranked 7th among a selected number of Countries spread among the five continents. Included among these countries were Ireland, Singapore, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Barbados and Jamaica. Between the decade 1990 and 2000, the Country ranked 7th whilst between 2000 to 2010 we ranked first (1st) among the group of countries escalating significantly from 3.4% in the previous decade to 5.9%  2000 and 2010. However Trinidad and Tobago failed to maintain this superiority status during the years 2010 to 2016 sinking to a dismal 0.5% at the bottom of the ladder among the group of countries.

Some of the key initiatives to enhance the level of Productivity and quality of Work Ethic in the Nation will see the Government working hand in hand with the citizenry include;

  1. Reviewing and assessing the methodology and Data Collection on Total Factor Productivity Outputs
  2. Conducting Productivity Surveys to capture the views of both workers and management.
  3. Collecting data on absenteeism across sectors and industries and with particular attention to absences around holiday
  4. Developing micro-level data for international comparisons, in which, for example, ‘Time and Motion’ studies will be developed for:
    1. The Construction Industry
    2. The Retail Sector
    3. The Tourism Sector
    4. Government Services and
    5. The Judicial System

Other key initiatives will include;

  1.                     v.            Conducting an assessment of Management quantity and quality and tracking  improvements over time
  2.                    vi.            Collecting data on type and use of machinery, computers, software applications and other factors of production, for efficiency analysis
  3.                    vii.            Assessing the economic and social costs of transportation systems and traffic congestion
  4.                   viii.            Evaluating the cost of weak execution of public sector projects

In addition, the Cabinet has also accepted the recommendations of the National Tripartite Advisory Council which will itself be engaged in;

  1.                        i.            Mounting a public information and awareness campaign on Productivity and Service Excellence.
  2.                        ii.            Re-examining the effect of public holidays with a view to minimizing the impact of lost time.
  3.                       iii.            Reforming work and procurement practices within the public sector and
  4.                       iv.            Training managers in the exercise of respectful workplace discipline and effective industrial relations.

The Honourable Minister also stated that as these initiatives are rolled out, the population can expect to see a reversal in the sharp decline of productivity levels which were recorded for Trinidad and Tobago among economies of similar characteristics and dimensions during the period 2010 to 2015. The Ministry of Planning and Development, the Government agency assigned for the successful execution, coordination and implementation of the multidimensional programme, together with NTAC, is committed to ensuring success of this programme as we work together towards transforming Trinidad and Tobago into a developed nation.

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