Prime Minister of Dominica Dr Roosevelt Skerrit virtually addressed the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development on Labour. He addressed the key methods to strengthen policies and legislation to govern the migration and mobility of labour in the Caribbean.
During his address, he added that Dominica continues to be vocal and advocate the full implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) to reduce the barriers. He added that it helps the CARICOM citizens to move and work freely within the region.
Notably, Skerrit was originally scheduled to attend the meeting in Guyana, but due to the exigencies of the state he participated virtually.
Prime Minister Skerrit added that the CARICOM nations have been advocating for a Labour system that will reduce barriers and promote cooperation in the areas of trade and security. He also discussed the agreement the countries made years ago for Caribbean Single Market and Economy to give a competitive advantage.
He said that on July 4, 2023, CARICOM will celebrate 50 years as a regional grouping. Skerrit referred to it as a milestone that will help the member states to reflect on their achievements.
During his address, Dominican PM also addressed the different key issues. He said that he realised that the list of skilled personnel is not in reflecting some of the categories already considered by the Community to move freely.
“My understanding is that some states have delayed inclusion of proposed groups, while others have already adopted those categories of workers cleared to move freely. These include artisans; persons who have at least five CSEC passes and equivalent such as related technical and vocational qualifications; aviation personnel; and hospitality workers,” added the Prime Minister.
He also proposed the establishment of national infrastructure for the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) as well the instituting of a Free Movement Desk, the Free Movement Committee, as well as the good implementation of the Protocol on Contingent Rights.
Skerrit emphasised that all member states must allow citizens of CARICOM to move as well as work freely within the region. He added that some efforts have been stymied due to reasons related to border control, national security, implementation capacity as well as political will. However, Skerrit hoped that the CARICOM countries will collectively work to minimize the challenges to ease the migration of labour within the region.