Guyana issues almost 3,000 Free Movement certificates
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs began issuing CARICOM Free Movement of Skills Certificates in 1997. A total of 2,829 Skills Certificates have been issued up to July 10, 2010.
This was confirmed by Director General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Elizabeth Harper, who said that for this year a total of 203 Skills Certificates have been issued.
She said too that there are currently 21 applications that are currently being processed.
On the issue of the new category of Domestic Workers she said that no Guyanese National has applied for a certificate under that category.
In order to obtain a certificate to travel and work as a Domestic in any CARICOM country under the free movement of skills arrangement, an applicant has to possess a valid CVQ (Caribbean Vocational Qualification). Guyana is yet to begin to issue the CVQs.
The free movement of skills initiative originated in the 1989 Grand Anse Declaration, but the original concept has been modified over the years in order to facilitate the implementation of this mandate.
It was only in the late nineties that the agreement commenced implementation.
Free movement of skills entails the right to seek employment in any CARICOM Member State and eliminates the need for work permits and permits of stay.
It is important to note from the outset that free movement is an important pillar of any genuine
single market and economy, thus also our CSME, said the CARICOM Secretariat.
Article 45 of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas therefore states, “Member States commit themselves to the goal of the free movement of their nationals within the Community”.
The categories of persons allowed to travel using the free movement of skills certificate under this agreement include University graduates, artistes, Sports Persons, and Media Workers among others.