Trinidad passes Bill allowing skilled regional workers access to jobs

Port Of Spain – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Skilled Nationals (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed late Friday, without amendments, with 19 votes for and 11 against.

The bill has been opposed by the main opposition United National Congress (UNC), however, Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne said he found no merit in the opposition’s arguments to stop the bill.

“We are Caricom,” he said, adding that the country benefited when our Caribbean brothers donated vaccines for COVID-19.

Browne went on to question why the UNC would want to stop their constituents who were skilled workers, to benefit from working in the region.

He said the bill would allow for regional food security, which is something that all parliamentarians across the region should be grateful for.

He claimed the Opposition was “opposing for opposing sake” since they criticised the economy, yet claimed that there would be a tsunami of workers flooding the country if the law was passed.

“What I was hearing today is alien to our region. What the bill does will facilitate the orderly, lawful, controlled movement of skilled workers,” he said as he invited the Opposition to “join Caricom”.

Browne said the internal moving of Caribbean people was part of his lineage with his great-grandfather coming from Guyana and marrying a Vincentian woman.

Meanwhile, ahead of the passage of the bill, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, criticised the UNC for “consistently taking actions to undermine Trinidad and Tobago and Caricom, in and out of government”. (CMC)

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