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CARICOM jobs: More skilled Jamaicans to gain access soon

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More categories of skilled Jamaican workers may soon be able to seek jobs in other CARICOM countries. Labour and Social Security Minister Derrick Kellier has tabled a bill to make amendments to the Caribbean Community (Free Movement of Skilled Persons) Act to expand the groups of skilled workers who can apply for a CARICOM skilled-worker certificate.

The present categories of skilled workers are artistes, musicians, holders of degrees from the University of the West Indies, media workers and sportsmen and women.

The law is being changed to include nurses, teachers, and workers holding specific categories of vocational qualifications or certification from accredited tertiary institutions.

Caribbean skilled-worker certificates give holders the right to a six-month entry into a member state and the right to indefinite stay.

The Labour and Social Security Minister says the amendments will help to streamline the processing of certificates.

He says between 2004 and July this year, Jamaica issued more than 1,800 CARICOM skilled-worker certificates to CARICOM nationals.

At the same time, It is being proposed that the law be amended to increase the penalties for breaches of the Act.

Debate on the Bill will take place this week.