Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 07, 2017 (SKNIS): Labour stakeholders in St. Kitts and Nevis are pleased with the information sharing and knowledge development taking place at a four-day workshop at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
The February 06 to 09 workshop is hosted by the Ministry of Labour in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat as part of efforts to establish a Labour Management Information System (LMIS) for the region.
Officials from a number of public sector agencies, as well as representatives from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and trade unions, are participating in the workshop. The President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNTLU), Joseph O’Flaherty, described the workshop as informative and credited the hands on approach of the facilitators as they demonstrate the tools and type of information that are needed to successfully establish an LMIS.
Director at the Department of Statistics, Carlton Phipps, said his agency conducts labour force surveys, which provide information on the unemployment rate, employment by industry, low season and high season employment figures and more. This type of information is critical to an information system.
Donovan Herbert, Director of Research and Statistics at Social Security, said he was happy to share the information with the represented agencies and said the establishment of an LMIS is a “good initiative and is long overdue.” He added: “the general public will definitely benefit from policies and other initiatives that will be developed and implemented based on the information that will be supplied to the policy makers.”
President O’Flaherty said that the LMIS is good for workers as it will provide a “big picture” of the current market conditions and poverty levels so that stakeholders can address shortcomings. He also mentioned the regional aspect of the initiative which facilitates the movement of labour provided for under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Mr. O’Flaherty stated that greater sensitization will be needed to ensure locals are aware of the opportunities available for persons in the 10 categories of free labour movement. These include holders of Associate Degrees or comparable qualification, media persons, artists, musicians, sportspersons, university graduates, domestic workers, nurses, teachers and artisan with a National or Caribbean Vocational Qualification certificate.
He said the SKNTLU will continue to partner with the Ministry of International Trade to promote the benefit of the CSME to locals.