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Trinidad & Tobago failing in productivity and work ethic - NTAC



By Rapheal John-Lall

Petroleumworld 08 01 2018

In productivity and work ethic, T&T is falling behind many other countries. This was pinpointed by Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis who expressed concerns about the “levels of productivity over the past 10 to 15 years and the progressive deterioration in the quality of work ethic being experienced in all sectors nationwide.”

She added: “As a result National Tripartite Advisor Council (NTAC) has advanced a multi dimensional, multi faceted spectrum of recommendations, which have been encapsulated in a position paper at its 14th monthly meeting on July 10, 2018. The position paper is on its way to Cabinet.”

Speaking in her capacity as NTAC chairman at a media conference at the Ministry of Finance in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Robinson- Regis said after many months of “tedious” research and analysis the group has arrived at a consensus on a way forward.

“It is one of the compelling reasons why NTAC was determined to give high priority to addressing these obstructionist interventions.

NTAC's recommendations for a disciplined approach to a resolution of the nation's productivity and work ethic shortcomings is on its way for the consideration of the Cabinet. An announcement of the details will be made by the Cabinet imminently,” she said.

One of the observations NTAC made in its research is that T&T's productivity is falling rapidly behind that of developed countries, while several developing countries are catching up to T&T. Another observation was that the rate of growth of productivity had been declining over the last 10 to 15 years.

Robinson-Regis said: “In fact when we looked at the figures for the annual growth rates in productivity between the years 1990-2016 among a sample of ten countries drawn from five continents and similar economies, Trinidad and Tobago's annual average growth rate had declined from the highest ranked of 5.9 per cent between the period 2000 to 2010 to the lowest rank of an abysmal 0.5 per cent between the period 2010 to 2016, a decline of 92 per cent.” NTAC's concluded that T&T should aspire to the levels of productivity attained by the leading countries in the global economy.

It found that T&T's work ethic appears to be challenged mainly by absenteeism, unpunctuality, traffic congestion and inappropriate management styles.

Dr. Ramesh Ramdeen, CEO, T&T Manufacturers' Association (TTMA) and the business representative on NTAC, agreed that productivity needs to improved “Based on statistics we have we see that national productivity is relatively low and it is falling. Low productivity means increases in prices, increases in our livelihood and in a number of areas we are falling in competitiveness.”

However, Vincent Cabrera, President of the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union, defended workers' productivity

“There is no research data or survey to prove that we are unproductive.

Employers do not measure labour productivity. We need to begin focusing on labour productivity but also on capital and total factor productivity,” he said.

Cabrera claimed major banks and conglomerates are making “fantastic” profits while complaining about labour productivity.

‘There is little or no training in many sectors but employers complain about productivity,” he said.


Story by Rapheal John-Lall from Trinidad & Tobago Guardian 08 01 2018

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