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Jamaica to establish mutual accreditation policy

Wednesday, July 09, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Government is moving to establish a mutual accreditation policy, which gives recognition to qualifications obtained here in Jamaica, when the holders move away to other countries for work or to live permanently.

State minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Arnaldo Brown, said the policy aims to ensure that qualifications gained by Jamaicans are recognised in other countries, preventing them from having to re-qualify for jobs in their new country of residence.

Brown, who was addressing the 2014 graduation class of the Health Education and Counselling Institute (HECOIN), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Sunday, said the policy comes against the background of a recent position taken by the Canadian Government to protect the jobs of its citizens.

"The Canadian Government is trying to stimulate employment within their country and have taken the stance that they do not want people with no or low skills to be competing for jobs against Canadians, who are at the same level," he said.

He argued that the only way for Jamaicans to overcome this hurdle is to become educated, trained and certified, as the stance taken by the Canadian Government could soon be adopted in other countries.

He noted, however, that the qualifications of Jamaicans are sometimes not recognised overseas and with the mutual accreditation policy in place, these issues will be addressed.

Brown, meanwhile, has encouraged Jamaicans not to leave a stable living and working environment and head overseas, only to be confronted with challenges, which include sub-standard living and working conditions.

He, however, urged persons with those intentions to ensure that the necessary checks and balances are done before they make their move. "Sometimes, persons end up moving from a stable life into one which is not of the standard that they are used to. I must urge you to ensure that the necessary checks are done before that life-changing decision is made," he stated.

He is also encouraging Jamaicans to make sure that adequate preparations are made for the care and protection of the children they leave here.

"I will also tell you that if the opportunity presents itself for your children to join you in your new environment, do so. However, if it does not, it is your responsibility to ensure that you visit on a regular basis and keep in contact with them and of course ensure that they are being supervised by persons who are responsible and that you can trust," Brown added.

More than 500 students graduated in the HECOIN batch of 2014 after being trained in the fields of occupation skills, phlebotomy, health care assistant and health care specialist. A number of the graduates will be heading off to Canada where they will be employed.

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