Caribbean Labour Ministers Discuss Growth and Employment

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson (right), converses with Director General, International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder (centre); and Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Government of the Virgin Islands, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering. Occasion was the opening of the 10th ILO meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on February 23.

Story Highlights

  • Creating growth-driven economies that will provide better employment prospects for Caribbean nationals is the key agenda item at the 10th International Labour Organization (ILO) meeting, which is being held at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston.
  • The two-day meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour is being held under the theme: ‘Realising Decent Work under the 2030 Agenda’.

Creating growth-driven economies that will provide better employment prospects for Caribbean nationals is the key agenda item at the 10th International Labour Organization (ILO) meeting, which is being held at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston.

The two-day meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour is being held under the theme: ‘Realising Decent Work under the 2030 Agenda’.

Among the objectives are to determine the mix of policies needed to promote growth that is fair, inclusive and sustainable; and to explore how the Decent Work Agenda can be effectively integrated in the national articulations of the 2030 sustainable development agendas.

It also seeks to identify and share good practices to address the challenges to sustainable growth and assess how the ILO can strengthen its support to member States and the region in developing responses.

Speaking at the opening ceremony Thursday (February 23), Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson said inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as the creation of more jobs, is extremely relevant for the region and falls in line with objective eight of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This goal, which is fully aligned with the Decent Work Agenda, cannot be achieved without a good balance of productive development, growth technology, employment, human capital and economic and social policies,” she said.

“Its objectives contain a new vision that combines a renewed focus on the engines of growth… with specific attention on the traction that the growth process must have in labour markets by creating more and better jobs,” she said.

Mrs. Robinson said that despite the progress that has been made economically and socially, the region is still challenged by susceptibility to vulnerabilities associated with small island states.

These include natural disasters, and lack of economic diversification and capacity for productive development.

Over the two days, the Labour Ministers will review progress made since the last Meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour in 2015, in promoting inclusive and sustainable development with productive employment; consider the ILO’s Future of Work Initiative, which is aimed at developing responses to the changing work environment; and discuss the main challenges and opportunities to achieving a better Future of Work in the Caribbean.

The meeting, held every two years, provides ministers with responsibility for labour, permanent secretaries and high-level officials of the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean with the opportunity to discuss labour issues that are of concern to the region.

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