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CSME Workshop discuss regional issues, Social Security, labour, social dialogue

Salas Hamilton

Salas Hamilton communication Specialist within the CSME Unit

A two-day regional workshop exploring issues relating to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) began in Dominica on Monday with delegates being told that it would explore in some depth the areas of education, occupational classification, social security and social dialogue.

The two-day workshop was hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat with the assistance of the European Union 10th EDF CSME and Economic Integration Programme. Participants representing the workers’ and employers’ associations across the Caribbean Community, including the host country, Dominica. Participating from Montserrat, Mrs. Nyota Mulcare representing the Montserrat Public Service Association, and Bennette Roach, who represented the Montserrat Chamber of Commerce, but coincidentally is the chairman of the Labour Advisory Board.

“As we seek to expand the category of skilled workers, we can move and seek employment across member states. The development of the Caribbean vocational qualification (CVQ) assumes major importance,” said Salas Hamilton, the Communications Specialist within the CSME Unit at the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat.

Hamilton said that the harmonization of the classification of occupation among CARICOM member state is vital, “to achieving a common understanding of professional categories as persons move from one member state to another for employment.

“We also want to ensure that persons can have their social security benefits move with them, and not lose out on these because they have decided to leave and work in another CARICOM country,” he said.

He expressed the opinion  that participants would learn over the two days, “an increased knowledge, information and appreciation of what is involved in the CSME and how advantage it is and can be to you and the people you represent.”

Rainer Pritzer, Sr Specialist for Social Dialogue and Labour Admin, ILO DSC_0046-

Rainer Pritzer, Sr Specialist for Social Dialogue and Labour Admin, ILO

“We would like that after that you feel genuinely motivated to not just promote but champion the CSME to your membership and even to other stakeholder groups with whom you may collaborate,” Hamilton said.

The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region.

Steve Ferrol Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador DSC_0039

Steve Ferrol Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador

Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Steve Ferrol, who addressed the conference on behalf of Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit said there were a number of important topics to be discussed during the meeting.

He said these include the development of labour market, information systems in the CSME, social protection in the CSME, harmonization of labour legislation among member states.

Ferrol said that central to addressing the challenges of free movement of labour is the development and efficient operation of a regional labour market information system.

“That system is crucial as it will guide policy makers in designing practical and targeting employment relation policies and programmes based on the supply and demand of the labour market.”

 

Reginald Thomas, Executive Director, N I S SVD DSC_0044

Reginald Thomas, Executive Director, N I S SVD

Ms Patricia McPherson, Dep Prog Manager CAROCOM Sect- DSC_0054

Ms Patricia McPherson, Dep Prog Manager CARICOM Sect.

However, he noted, “ a natural prerequisite will be the development and effective management of national labour market information systems to feed into and support the proposed regional system.

“Although attempts have been made in a number of member states to set up these national systems, the experience is that the update and maintenance of these systems remain a challenge for many, particularly the smallest states among us…”

“The discussion still remains as to which of these are transferable and which should be available to persons moving from one member state to another. A more challenging aspect however, will be to address issues of labour practices within the region,” he said.

Delegates hailed from Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Belize, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname and St Lucia.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Salas Hamilton

Salas Hamilton communication Specialist within the CSME Unit

A two-day regional workshop exploring issues relating to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) began in Dominica on Monday with delegates being told that it would explore in some depth the areas of education, occupational classification, social security and social dialogue.

The two-day workshop was hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat with the assistance of the European Union 10th EDF CSME and Economic Integration Programme. Participants representing the workers’ and employers’ associations across the Caribbean Community, including the host country, Dominica. Participating from Montserrat, Mrs. Nyota Mulcare representing the Montserrat Public Service Association, and Bennette Roach, who represented the Montserrat Chamber of Commerce, but coincidentally is the chairman of the Labour Advisory Board.

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“As we seek to expand the category of skilled workers, we can move and seek employment across member states. The development of the Caribbean vocational qualification (CVQ) assumes major importance,” said Salas Hamilton, the Communications Specialist within the CSME Unit at the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat.

Hamilton said that the harmonization of the classification of occupation among CARICOM member state is vital, “to achieving a common understanding of professional categories as persons move from one member state to another for employment.

“We also want to ensure that persons can have their social security benefits move with them, and not lose out on these because they have decided to leave and work in another CARICOM country,” he said.

He expressed the opinion  that participants would learn over the two days, “an increased knowledge, information and appreciation of what is involved in the CSME and how advantage it is and can be to you and the people you represent.”

Rainer Pritzer, Sr Specialist for Social Dialogue and Labour Admin, ILO DSC_0046-

Rainer Pritzer, Sr Specialist for Social Dialogue and Labour Admin, ILO

“We would like that after that you feel genuinely motivated to not just promote but champion the CSME to your membership and even to other stakeholder groups with whom you may collaborate,” Hamilton said.

The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region.

Steve Ferrol Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador DSC_0039

Steve Ferrol Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador

Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Steve Ferrol, who addressed the conference on behalf of Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit said there were a number of important topics to be discussed during the meeting.

He said these include the development of labour market, information systems in the CSME, social protection in the CSME, harmonization of labour legislation among member states.

Ferrol said that central to addressing the challenges of free movement of labour is the development and efficient operation of a regional labour market information system.

“That system is crucial as it will guide policy makers in designing practical and targeting employment relation policies and programmes based on the supply and demand of the labour market.”

 

Reginald Thomas, Executive Director, N I S SVD DSC_0044

Reginald Thomas, Executive Director, N I S SVD

Ms Patricia McPherson, Dep Prog Manager CAROCOM Sect- DSC_0054

Ms Patricia McPherson, Dep Prog Manager CARICOM Sect.

However, he noted, “ a natural prerequisite will be the development and effective management of national labour market information systems to feed into and support the proposed regional system.

“Although attempts have been made in a number of member states to set up these national systems, the experience is that the update and maintenance of these systems remain a challenge for many, particularly the smallest states among us…”

“The discussion still remains as to which of these are transferable and which should be available to persons moving from one member state to another. A more challenging aspect however, will be to address issues of labour practices within the region,” he said.

Delegates hailed from Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Belize, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname and St Lucia.