President of the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) Mr. Wayne Chen, received his official letter of appointment to the CARICOM Human Resource Development Commission on 12 May 2016. This is a major step for the CEC as the regional voice of employers, in ensuring that it is able to contribute to the formation of CARICOM’s social and economic policy development. The appointment of the CEC’s President to this Commission is in keeping with outcome one of the European Union (EU) Funded Project entitled, “Challenges for CARIFORUM Labour, Private Sector and Employers to fulfil their EPA” in which the CEC is currently involving in executing along with the Caribbean Congress of Labour and under the administrative and technical support of the International Labour Organization. Outcome one seeks to position the CEC and the CCL as recognized active social partners in the social and economic policy landscape of the region.
In March 2014, the CARICOM Heads of Government mandated the establishment of this Commission and determined that its purpose should be to shape a ‘Regional Education and Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy’. The Commission met for the first time in February 2015 and has since been working towards the development of a strategic plan to inform the actions of member states and institutions for the creation of a framework for the CARICOM education agenda.
The CEC represents employers’ organizations in 14 CARIFORUM states and 4 non-metropolitan territories in the region. As such, this appointment provides the opportunity for the CEC to ensure that employers’ contributions to policy are adequately represented. The CEC is adequately prepared to contribute to the goals of this Commission by way of having recently completed its own research into the education and skills needs of employers throughout the region. This research will be critical to the development of a framework that is built not only on consultation but a framework that is evidence based.
The CEC and its membership commends CARICOM for its active inclusion of social partners in this Commission and in other consultative processes and fora. We look forward to healthy exchanges and fruitful deliberations within this Commission and other arms of CARICOM.
* EU-funded project entitled “Challenges to CARIFORUM Labour, Private Sector and Employers to fulfil their EPA Obligations: Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) Component of the Support to Facilitate Participation of CARIFORUM Civil Society in Regional Development and Integration Process.
The VSB held a special annual general meeting on April 28th in order to elect a new President and Vive-President for the next three years. Mr. Bryan Renten, Director of Fernandes Bottling Company Ltd and Mr. Wilfred Baldew of LeGrand Baldew Transportation Ltd were elected President and Vice-President. In his maiden speech Mr. Bryan Renten thanked the outgoing team of Ferdinand Welzijn and Antoine Issa for their contributions to the Association. The new President recognized the severity of the economic crisis in Suriname and stressed that the VSB will continue to impress on its social partners the need for continued social dialogue and tripartism in order to turn the tide and realize sustainable economic growth in Suriname.