Caribbean, US labour departments to implement joint projects
- internet-based job bank planned

Stabroek News
March 3, 2000

The labour ministries of the anglophone Caribbean and the US Department of Labor (USDOL) are to collaborate in the implementation of projects in labour market information and labour exchanges. The collaboration will also extend to other mutually agreed areas, according to a joint statement issued after their meeting in Washington DC last month.

Guyana was represented at that meeting by Labour Minister, Dr Henry Jeffrey, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding with US Labour Secretary, Alexis Herman and other Caribbean labour ministers.

The statement said that the USDOL has committed itself to providing US$1.5 million for the first year of the project, and a commitment had also been obtained from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the form of support to the ministries of labour in the Caribbean region. The first follow-up meeting is scheduled for July at which time it is expected that updates on the progress made would be given.

The goals of the projects are to build institutional capacity of the ministries through the collection, analysis and dissemination of timely and accurate labour market information (LMI) and to establish a model automated internet-based job bank which would interface with the ministries' modernised LMI systems.

The USDOL will provide experts from its employment and training administrations and Bureau of Labour Statistics, who will work with the ministries and other partners in designing, procuring and installing LMI and job bank systems as well as conducting the necessary training programmes.

Separate LMI and job bank systems are to be developed for each participating country but joint training and development activities for the key project implementers are to conducted. Regular regional meetings of labour ministries are to be held at which project experiences and best practices will be shared.

Implementation of the project is scheduled for May 15 and the first regional meeting is set for July 24-28.

The ministries are committed to providing one person who will be responsible for project implementation, the technical staff to participate in the training and a plan for the sustainable implementation of the project.

The statement said too that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the IDB have agreed to assist the ministries in the region "in the design and implementation of joint projects we plan to undertake," and that the ministers "affirmed our commitment to enhanced coordination with the multilateral organisations in order to maximise the effectiveness of all initiatives in the region." Paulo Paiva, an IDB vice-president and William Momm of the ILO were among those who made presentations at the meeting.