JIS News

Executive Director of the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), Dr. Ethley London, has said that the Council plays an internal role in the fee movement of persons throughout the region, by facilitating access to the CARICOM skills certificate.
Noting that many persons were not aware of the role of the UCJ in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), Dr. London explained that the Council had been named in the Caribbean Community Free Movement of Skilled Persons Act (1997) as a point of reference for verifying or certifying qualifications gained in institutions other than the University of the West Indies, the University of Guyana, and the University of Suriname.
“This means that persons, who did not attend these three institutions and are desirous of obtaining a CARICOM skills certificate, will have to have their qualifications certified by the UCJ as satisfying the conditions for recognition of a CARICOM skills certificate,” she stated.
Dr. London, who was addressing a public forum yesterday (Feb. 6) on the University of Technology’s (UTech) Old Hope Road campus, to examine the opportunities for wealth creation within the CSME, noted that the UCJ verified the authenticity of a person’s credentials with regards to the institution attended and the programmes completed and whether these fall under what is specified in the Act.
She disclosed that with the increased public awareness of the Act and the perceived opportunities presented by the CSME, there had been a steady rise in the number of requests to the UCJ for this service.
“Remember, we do not issue the certificate, we just certify the qualification. It’s the Ministry of Labour (and Social Security) that will give the certificate, but they depend on the UCJ to do the certifying before,” she pointed out.
The UCJ has verified the qualifications of some 115 Caribbean nationals, who have studied in Jamaica, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Russia, and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Acting President of UTech, George Roper, affirmed that the UCJ has been successfully fulfilling its mandate in setting standards for accreditation and contributing to the academic development of tertiary institutions in Jamaica.
“This forum focusing on the opportunities for increasing wealth creation under the CSME is certainly a very timely one. There is no doubt that the unrestricted movement of goods, services, people, and capital throughout the region will result in unprecedented opportunities for people of the Caribbean,” he told the gathering.
Mr. Roper added that there was a wealth of opportunities in many areas such as tourism, manufacturing, food and agriculture, management services, music, and entertainment that would result in “a very highly competitive marketplace, which encourages economic efficiency, innovation and the highest standards for quality of service and service delivery. It is for this reason that at UTech, we see it as an imperative to effectively prepare our students to operate in this economic structure”.
The forum featured a student debate with the moot, ‘Caribbean countries will improve their global competitiveness by being part of the CSME’. The debaters were Lamon Davis of UTech, and Kenyatta Powell of the UWI.
There was also a panel discussion with presentations by Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr. Rosalea Hamilton; Managing Director of Technological Solutions; Former President of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, Dr. Andre Gordon; and President of Trevor Hamilton and Associates Centre for Excellence, Dr. Trevor Hamilton.
The forum was held as part of the UCJ’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

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