Keith Bell calls for increased productivity in labour force

LABOUR and Immigration Minister Keith Bell.

LABOUR and Immigration Minister Keith Bell.


Tribune Staff Reporter


LABOUR Minister Keith Bell called for increased productivity in the labour force on Friday, saying that the lack thereof has contributed to the high number of work permits issued each year.

Mr Bell was speaking at the annual general assembly meeting of the National Tripartite Council (NTC), held at the National Training Agency on Gladstone Road.

During his keynote speech, Mr Bell acknowledged the need for more work to be done regarding implementing the government's policies on labour relations.

However, he urged that “specific and concrete recommendations” be given to increase productivity within the Bahamian labour force.

“Although it is not on the agenda, I am seeking your specific and concrete recommendations on increasing productivity in the workplace,” said Mr Bell.

“It is something that we cannot legislate but we have to ensure that the increase in minimum wage corresponds with an increase in productivity in the workplace, especially as we move towards a livable wage.

He continued: “This is a special concern to me as the Minister of Labour and Immigration and part of the reason in some respect, why we have to issue so much work permits in this country every year. This is a matter that must be addressed rather sooner than later.”

He noted that there are plans to host a roundtable discussion to formulate a national policy on the granting of work permits within the country.

Unable to give a definitive date, Mr Bell said the discussion is expected to be between the months of July and August.

He also credited the NTC for its role in the recent increase in the minimum wage. Since the introduction of the minimum wage increase, there have been no reports of layoffs or redundancies to date, according to Mr Bell.

Additionally, he noted that NTC is presently conducting research for the transformation of The Bahamas Industrial Tribunal and the enactment of the Industrial Court Bill 2023.

The Labour Minister also presented the NTC’s annual report for July 2021 to June 2022 to be tabled in the House of Assembly.


hrysippus 1 year, 4 months ago

I cannot help but wonder just how productive this minister and his ministry are themselves. What do they produce anyway? And how much of it? What is the cost to the taxpayers, and what is the value of their product? Inquiring minds would like to know.

KapunkleUp 1 year, 4 months ago

As I told my last boss: "you pretend to pay me and I pretend to work".

rosiepi 1 year, 4 months ago

Yea tell us all about what we already know Keith! More importantly what’s your administration doing about it??

birdiestrachan 1 year, 4 months ago

The Government give work permits to Barbars so they must give them to hairdressers also

bahamianson 1 year, 4 months ago

Keep calling. Been calling for 30 years, but keep calling. Just a bunch of noise .you must first discipline children in primary schools, especially public schools. If children are allowed to come to school late, they will grafuate and go to jobs late. If they are allowed to dress any kind of way in schools, then it will be an employer's problem in the future. Everything starts in the primary schools and homes.

trueBahamian 1 year, 4 months ago

What in the world is he saying? Let's be clear some work permits are issued in some sectors where there are tons of qualified Bahamians available. The government plays these games. Everyone knows that a lot of jobs will not be given to Bahamians. I'm not referring to construction or landscaping. I'm referring to high end white collar jobs. The government spends too much time pretending to protect Bahamians while condoning the flagrant abuse of the system by foreign employers. There are even cases where the government itself is employing individuals (expats) for roles they locals can fill.

I think there exist a gap in the thinking of Minister Bell. Let's cut the nonsense and address the whole situation shall we?

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