Between 2007 and October 2009, a total of 2576 Skills Certificates have been issued in accordance with the Free Movement of Skills agreement. This is according to the Free Movement Committee, a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) mandated and government supported group, which currently functions and operates in all CARICOM member states.
The Free Movement Committee met last Thursday to discuss matters related to ensuring that the process of obtaining a Skills Certificate is hassle free, transparent and accountable “in an effort to enhance progress in the regional integration movement.”
Of the distributed certificates, 1,975 were issued to university graduates, 54 to musicians, 104 to artistes, 39 to media workers, 53 to sports persons, 26 to registered nurses, 97 to trained teachers and 228 to holders of Associate degrees.
As of 2006, the recognised criteria on the issuing of certificates incorporated university graduates, artistes, musicians, sportsmen and media workers. Holders of Associate degrees, diplomas, two modules of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination certificate (CAPE) or the equivalent as well as registered nurses and trained teachers were included into the criteria.
Household domestics that have obtained Caribbean Vocational Qualification Certificate (CVQ) or an equivalent qualification will also be afforded the opportunity to obtain a Skill Certificate as of January 1, 2010.
An administration fee of $1500 can be paid for the processing of the application, which will go into a contingency fund.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, domestic workers and artisans (masons, plumbers, and mechanics, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians, cosmetologists) that have obtained CVQ had also been added to the list. This was agreed to in June by regional leaders, at the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference.
At the Free Movement Committee’s meeting it was further reiterated and emphasised that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is ultimately responsible for overseeing the applications for skills certificates.
It was agreed at the meeting that a theoretical test will not be administered for applications for the certificates; instead there is to be competency based examination.
“Capturing persons on the borderline, without a certificate, will be the mode of measurement in this field.”
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will accept the technical assistance of the CARICOM Secretariat for the setting up of a more detailed valuation process for musicians and artistes applying for certificates.
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