Barbados Ready for ‘Free Movement’

Go Lean Commentary

“Free Movement of People” is one aspect of the Single Market concept that is strongly urged by this commentary. Even though this view is not unanimous in its appeal – in the Caribbean especially – many advanced economies do have Free Movement:

  • US – Yes
  • European Union – Yes

These two markets are Number 1 and Number 2 accordingly in the world’s GDP rankings. There truly is merit to this strategy, as people can freely go where they are needed and job openings can be freely filled by people – from near or far.

This means neighboring communities get to share in the opportunities and challenges of any one destination.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean (Page 5) drew reference to neighborly collaboration, cooperation and confederation by detailing the lyrics of a 1972 song, as follows:

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me – Song: Lean On Me by Bill Withers

One country gets it …

An Economic Affairs Minister for Barbados has declared that his country needs to be more welcoming of workers from other Caribbean communities. In fact, he indicated that the demographic trends in Barbados is all bad; their population is getting older as there are now fewer and fewer young people. The “load” of rebooting the Caribbean can be shared among the region – Caribbean Community or CariCom. See the news article here relating this thesis:

Title: Barbados opening jobs to CARICOM nationals
 George Alleyne

Responding to a growing demographics imbalance in which the retired and close to retirement members of the population are growing while the number of working-age nationals is dwindling, Barbados will soon open its doors to skilled labour, especially persons from the Caribbean Community.

This situation caused Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson, to say recently, “I as minister of immigration am firmly of the view that we have too small a population for Barbados to sustain and grow this economy and we will have ‘managed migration’ into this country especially among our fellow Caribbean people who are productive, who will make a mark.”

He said that the island, however, will not be open to “those who are going to be a drain on our economy or public purse,” but will be welcoming “those who are productive, who have skills”.

“We need more young people in this country in their most productive age.”

Hinkson’s revelation of the island’s intent found support in fellow government minister, Marsha Caddle, who has said, “we’ve realised that the population base of the country is not sufficient to generate the revenue that we need to be able to contribute to the standard of living that we want to have.”

The junior economic affairs minister said that 20 to 25 years ago the population group between ages 20 and 29 was the largest, however, “that same cohort is now still the largest, but it is 50 years old. And the 20 to 29 [age group is] now is much smaller.”

With Barbados restructuring its flagging economy to make it welcoming to investors, and a number of major construction projects set to begin this year, she said, “it is not just a question of diversifying the economy and having a revenue-positive policy …but it is also a question of making sure you have the population base to support it.”

This unevenness in the island’s population was the reason that Ronald Jones, a minister in the former government, had pleaded with Barbadians to make more babies to counter the lowering birth rate, which in turn leads to a reduced workforce.

“A declining population will have an impact on what we do to support older generations and national development as a whole,” Jones had said.

But Hinkson dismissed that as the solution for Barbados’ immediate need for a larger workforce.

“We’re not going to do like what the then minister of education said two or three years ago that people must get more children because they will take 20 years plus nine months before a child might become productive if conceived today,” the home affairs minister said.

Barbados’s soon-to-be implemented programme of ‘managed migration’ should provide pointers to sister CARICOM nations on how to implement the grouping’s policy of the right of skilled nationals to work in most of the 15 countries in this body.

Source: Posted February 15, 2019 retrieved February 17, 2019 from:

According to this foregoing article, there is the need for Barbados to fill its job openings from CariCom countries nearby. The original plan for the now-stalled Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME) called for such “Free Movement of People”. Too bad, this scheme was never fully incorporated; many societal defects could have been averted.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean addressed CSME from the beginning; starting with this opening assessment of the State of Caribbean Integration. The book detailed CSME on Page 15 as follows:

What is the CSME?
The initials refer to the Caribbean Single Market & Economy, the attempted integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community which took place in July 1989 in Grand Anse, Grenada. The Grand Anse Declaration had three key features:

  1. Deepening economic integration by advancing beyond a common market towards a Single Market and Economy.
  2. Widening the membership and thereby expanding the economic mass of the Caribbean Community (e.g. Suriname and Haiti were admitted as full members in 1995 and 2002 respectively).
  3. Progressive insertion of the region into the global trading and economic system by strengthening trading links with non-traditional partners.

What was the hope for CSME?
Whereas CariCom started as a Common Market and Customs Union, to facilitate more intra-region trade, the CSME was intended to effect more integration of the economies of the member states. But this turned out to be mere talk, fanciful murmurings of politicians during their bi-annual Heads of Government meetings. No deployment plans ever emerged, even though up to 15 member-states signed on to the accord; (and 10 more as “Observers” only).

The recommendation of the movement behind the Go Lean book is to confederate now, as this would expand the labor pool and job market. This is the purpose of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, to help reform and transform the economic engines of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU).

The Go Lean roadmap is designed to elevate the Caribbean region, to be better destinations to live, work and play. The roadmap asserts that in addition to the ease of travel and transport for touristic purposes – the primary industry in the region – Caribbean communities get to benefit from Free Movement of Labor under controlled employment rules-conditions. This is why the CU Trade Federation is a graduation from the CSME – something better. We accomplish Free Trade and Free Movement of People for Domestic (Intra-region) Tourism, but controlled Freedom of Movement for jobs … based on a Labor Certification process. Here is how the Go Lean book describes the Certification process as regulated by one of the CU agencies:

CU Labor Relations Board
This agency coordinates the activities of labor certifications, labor unions and other organizational dimensions in the region. This effort will be collaborated and in cooperation with member-state Labor Relations agencies. The CU‘s focus will be towards interstate activities and enterprises, as opposed to intra-state.

Labor Certification is an important role for this agency as it requires monitoring the labor needs of the region to ascertain where skills are needed and where and who can supply the skills. The certification role involves rating the level of expertise needed for job and rating workers skill sets. (Consider a 10-point grading system for positions and personnel, where “apprentice” level ranges from 1 – 3, “journeyman” level ranges from 4 – 6, and “master” ranges from 7 – 10). This certification role is vital to the strategy of preserving Caribbean human capital in the region, even if this involves some movement among the member-states.  [When a high skilled job becomes available, it has to be rated so that if no local talents are available, workers with qualifying ratings in other CU member-states can apply and be engaged].

Embracing the tenants of a Single Market have been elaborated upon in previous blog-commentaries. Consider this sample: Righting a Wrong: Re-thinking CSME Overseas Workers – Not the Panacea Making a ‘Pluralistic Democracy’ – Freedom of Movement Fallacy of Minimum Wage Brexit reality tied to Free Movement of People.

Considering Barbados’s move in the foregoing, it is a good start for embracing the concept of a Single Market. They are not the first country in the region to lean-in to this initiative – and should not be the last. Consider the VIDEO here, relating the CARICOM Skilled Nationals Act in Guyana:

VIDEOGov’t to amend CARICOM Skilled Nationals Act

Published on Feb 5, 2014 |

Listen up you other countries: Follow suit!

All Caribbean stakeholders – leaders, citizens, businesses, employers, Union workers and professionals – need to embrace the strategy of a Single Market. The movement behind the Go Lean book invites everyone in the Caribbean to lean-in for the empowerments described here-in. We must do better than in the past; we cannot sustain our society with our current population dimensions. We must come together so that we can finally make our homelands better places to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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