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(Jamaica Observer) Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith says Jamaica is of the view that the movement of skilled workers should be fast-tracked in the implementation plan for the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), as well as execution of the central application process.

This, she said, would allow for a streamlining and standardisation of certificates and the application for workers to move within the Caribbean.

“Jamaica's position is that this is something that has been on the books for seven to 10 years… and we think that if member states are committed to implementing and committed to ensuring that our people experience the CSME in a way that is real and important to them, then the movement of skilled workers is something that should be moved up in the implementation plan,” she said.

Johnson Smith was speaking to journalists following the first plenary session at the 38th meeting of Heads of Government of Caricom in Grand Anse, Grenada, on July 5.

She noted that the full implementation of the CSME, specifically as it relates to free movement of labour and the implementation of all 10 categories of skilled workers, was one of the issues raised by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during the first working session.

Noting that only three countries have implemented all 10 categories of skilled workers, Johnson Smith stressed that this is something that should be mandated in the short term, and not in the medium and long term as stated in the implementation plan, which is “maybe two years down the line”.

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