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Left to right: Cayman Islands Director of Labour & Pensions Mr. Mario Ebanks; Trinidad & Tobago Minister of Labour and Small & Micro-Enterprise Development Hon. Errol McLeod; Cayman Islands Councillor for Education, Employment & Gender Affairs Mr. Winston Connolly; Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar; Director General of the International Labour Organization His Excellency Guy Ryder; and Secretary General, Caribbean Community Secretariat His Excellency Irwin La Rocque.

Meeting and collaborating with our neighbouring countries on the topic of labour was extremely useful. I look forward to interacting further with them and the ILO.

Councillor Winston Connolly

Published 11th July 2013, 10:3am

On July 2nd and 3rd, Councillor for Education, Employment and Gender Affairs Winston Connolly and Director of Labour and Pensions Mario Ebanks attended the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) 8th Meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour in Trinidad. The meeting focused on the theme: The Caribbean and Labour, 2013 and Beyond: Strengthening Decent Work for Development.

Nineteen of the 22 ILO Caribbean Member States and non-metropolitan territories were represented at the meeting - the largest turnout ever for the conference. The Cayman Islands is considered a non-metropolitan territory as we are a territory of the United Kingdom.

The meeting focused on a range of topics including the development of Decent Work Country Programmes, ratification of ILO Conventions on occupational safety and health, employment policy and the maritime sector, the execution of a number of capacity building initiatives targeted at Government officials and social partners and the establishment of a Caribbean Labour Market Information System and its deployment in various countries.

Councillor Connolly found the trip very beneficial saying, “Meeting and collaborating with our neighbouring countries on the topic of labour was extremely useful. It helped us get a better sense of what other countries in the region are facing and how they are overcoming issues in their labour market. It was also very important to meet with our Caribbean counterparts and extend the hand of collaboration. I look forward to interacting further with them and the ILO.”

Mr. Ebanks echoed Councillor Connolly’s sentiments, saying, “It was a pleasure and very beneficial for me to have been a part of the Cayman Islands delegation to this important meeting. From this meeting Councillor Connolly and I were able to participate, network, and share ideas and concerns. One important fact reinforced at the meeting is that while we are all different territories in the Caribbean, our issues and challenges are very similar. I was particularly pleased that the meeting, and the final communiqué, also began to look at the impact of social issues on the workplace, and the importance of focusing on productivity, resilience, and competitiveness within the Caribbean workforce and industry. It is important for the Cayman Islands to maintain a prudent presence at such regional and international meetings and conferences, while recognising the budgetary pressures and time constraints”.

The ILO covered the full cost of the trip for the two-person delegation to attend.