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Saturday, September 03, 2011

CSME - Head up

The Caribbean single market is supposed to engender the values of a single space. Much like the EU has tried to do, the idea is that people from within the region could seamlessly move without discrimination from point a to b.

Except like every other Caribbean institution, when the ethos has to turn into action it can easily get distorted.

Trying to get workers who are not degree educated doctors, lawyers or any white collar professional to get a skills certificate for free movement is like pulling teeth. The reason is that the CSME Skills certificate discriminates actively against skilled blue collar workers who dont have a degree behind their name.

Considering that their is a strong grain of skilled Caribbean workers who are not Terrence Skinner BSC MSc, you are left struggling to understand who the CSME is for.

So a highly trained machinist or signage installeris deemed to be unskilled whilst any crock doctor with a degree can move from a to b, ruin a life and abscond as quickly as they came.

Way to go free movement.

I understand the dilemma of the Caribbean. WHilst they want free movement, they only want the very best people being able to freely travel through the region. Everything in the Caribbean has to have a tier to it.

Ironically, a whole generation of Caribean immigrants to the US and UK argued that they were discriminated on because they were from poor countries and had little in the way of professional qualifications.

Sounds familiar ?

A suggestion. Create a bridge application process which allows professional references from at least three clients in both the applicants country (say you are from St Lucia) and three references in the countries they are going to (lets say St Kitts, Grenada and Antigua).

Create a registration process where you can audit these referencing companies through Labour and Immigration in each of those countries (so you dont get referring shells), and voila, you have the beginnings of a solution.

But please dont once again recreate the plantation.