More Job Opportunities for CARICOM Nationals

first_imgRelatedBob Marley Day Celebrated in London RelatedNew Zealand HC Impressed With Portmore Cricket Oval Trained household helpers in search of employment can now travel freely within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region.They are among five new categories of workers entitled to free movement after Jamaica amended the CARICOM Free Movement of Skilled Persons Act last year. The other categories of workers are nurses, teachers, artisans with a Caribbean vocational qualification, and holders of associate degrees or comparable qualifications.Head, Trade Agreements Implementation  and Coordination Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, David Prendergast, says the domestic worker category, which is still in the early stages of implementation, includes persons with a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) or equivalent certification.“This is still in the process of being fully implemented by Jamaica. It is in our legislation, but domestic workers must obtain a Caribbean Vocational Qualification issued by HEART,” he tells JIS News.Mr. Prendergast points out that previously, only graduates of universities, artistes, musicians, sportspersons and media workers were eligible to work freely throughout CARICOM.He says that while the nurse and teacher categories are easy to understand, there is “sometimes confusion” about persons under the artisan category. He explains that an artisan, based on a CARICOM agreed definition, is a skilled trade person, a craftsman or worker who has obtained an approved national vocational certificate or a Caribbean Vocational Qualification issued by HEART Trust/NTA. “The artisan must obtain the CVQ to apply to move,” he emphasises.Mr. Prendergast adds that craft and related trade workers, including building workers, metal and machinery workers, electrical workers, food processing workers and plant and machinery operators are eligible for movement under this category.“It must be understood that free entry and stay, especially if you are going as a visitor, where you should be guaranteed a six-month entry, does not automatically confer on you the right to work and that in order to take up employment, you must go through the Skills Certificate route or apply for a work permit if you fall outside of the necessary categories,” he points out.Mr. Prendergast, who is responsible for coordinating the implementation of Jamaica’s obligation under the CSME and the economic partnership agreements, says a person wishing to move to another country as a skilled CARICOM national, must first apply for and obtain a CARICOM Certificate of Recognition of Skills Qualification (CARICOM Skills Certificate).A Project Management Consultant tells JIS News that she had to acquire a Skills Certificate while in Guyana before returning to work in Jamaica.The CARICOM national, who is originally from Barbados, says she was recruited from Jamaica to work at the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana, having completed her studies at the University of the West Indies.“When I left Jamaica I had an exemption for a work permit, because I am a graduate of the University of the West Indies. However, at the end of my stint at CARICOM, the whole regime had changed, so in order for me to come back to Jamaica and seek employment, I needed a skills certificate,” she notes, adding that it took three days to obtain the  certificate.Asked about her experience at the airport when she arrived in Jamaica, the Consultant says the immigration officers were courteous and were aware of the Skills Certificate.“I did not have any problems, as the immigration officers seemed to be well briefed. They looked at the Skills Certificate and then they placed a six-month stamp in my passport, so I could stay in Jamaica for six months and instructed me to go through the procedure, to allow me to get the stamp in my passport to be legal in Jamaica,” she adds.Jamaica is one of the CARICOM member states that is showing strong compliance in the CSME. The country began implementing the CSME in 2006 after the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas in 1973, which gave birth to CARICOM.Among the changes brought about by the CSME is the abolition of the work permit, the introduction of the Skills Certificate and the definite entry for six months in a member state.“An overall study done on the CSME regime across the region, indicates that we  are 71 per cent compliant, meaning that we are largely, as a region, compliant, but there is more work to be done on the part of the participants in the CSME regime,” says Mr. Prendergast.  The study was done in 2009 by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat.To date, he says, Jamaica has attained a functional level of legislative and administrative compliance with all five regimes of the CSME, namely: the free movement of skills, goods, services, the right of establishment and free movement of capital.He notes that the CSME, which was conceptualised at the 10th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in July 1989, in Grand Anse, Grenada, was the culmination of a vision for a more unified and integrated Caribbean Community.Some of the objectives of the CSME are full employment; full exploitation of factors of production; competitive production, leading to greater variety and quantity of products and services to trade with other countries, resulting in improved standards of living, work and sustained economic development.Outlining the steps Jamaica has taken to demonstrate compliance  since signing the Revised Treaty, Mr. Prendergast points out that in addition to the Skills Certificate, the country  has also introduced the CARICOM line at immigration points, the CARICOM passport, the common entry and departure form,  and a CSME Complaint Form at the airports.Despite the successes of the CSME, Mr. Prendergast tells JIS News that there are challenges, and that the regional integration movement is still evolving.“The regional integration process is not a single event, it’s a process…so there will be challenges, but we are working on them, particularly where they affect our nationals,” he says. More Job Opportunities for CARICOM NationalsJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedForeign Minister Reaffirms Country’s Commitment to Regional Integration Photo: JIS PhotographerJamaica’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, David Prendergast.center_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail More Job Opportunities for CARICOM Nationals Foreign AffairsFebruary 13, 2014Written by: Elaine Hartman Reckord Story HighlightsTrained household helpers in search of employment can now travel freely within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region.They are among five new categories of workers entitled to free movement after Jamaica amended the CARICOM Free Movement of Skilled Persons Act last year.Previously, only graduates of universities, artistes, musicians, sportspersons and media workers were eligible to work freely throughout CARICOM. 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Passenger slashes mother in face with knife after child throws up on bus

first_imgNew York City Police Department(NEW YORK) — A mother has been slashed in the face with a knife after her child threw up on a public bus and another passenger became so enraged that she allegedly followed the mother and attacked her.The incident occurred on Tuesday at about 6:20 p.m. in Brooklyn, New York, when authorities say a mother was on a bus when one of her children got sick and vomited, resulting in the bus being immediately put out of service so it could be cleaned and disinfected, according to ABC News’ New York City station WABC-TV.The 31-year-old mother took her kids off the bus and was shortly after approached by another female passenger who was enraged that the bus had to be taken out of service due to the woman’s child being sick.Authorities say the passenger then pulled out a knife and slashed the woman across the face on the corner of Elton Street and Sutter Avenue in Brooklyn before she fled eastbound on Sutter Avenue in a black Toyota Camry.The young mother was taken to hospital and treated for a laceration to her face. Her condition is currently unknown.The New York Police Department is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspect. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Meet the HFZ exec accused of taking mob bribes

first_imgFormer HFZ Capital Group executive John Simonlacaj (Credit: HFZ, iStock)UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, 5:20 p.m.: As an executive at HFZ Capital, John Simonlacaj had overseen some of the city’s top developments.Now he’s been charged with accepting bribes to let the mob siphon off hundreds of thousands of dollars from projects, including his company’s most ambitious one: the XI along the High Line.The 50-year-old Scarsdale resident has been fired from HFZ, where he was managing director of development, a spokesperson for the company said.Simonlacaj pleaded not guilty Friday to wire fraud conspiracy and tax fraud and was released after posting $250,000 bail, The City reported.Simonlacaj could not be reached and his attorney, Glenn Colton of Arent Fox, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Simonlacaj’s social media pages, including his LinkedIn profile and a personal website, have been taken down.ADVERTISEMENTThis isn’t Simonlacaj’s first brush with the law. In 2016, while running an unnamed company, he was charged with instructing someone who did business with the company to file a false tax form five years earlier. The filing was in connection with the award of contracts by the New York Power Authority.Simonlacaj pleaded guilty, paid a fine and was sentenced to three months in jail, court records show.Nir Meir, a managing principal at HFZ who helped to found the firm in 2005, penned a letter to the court on Simonlacaj’s behalf in 2016. Meir wrote that he had known him for more than two decades, and when Meir and his partner started a new venture, they took Simonlacaj with him as “a key member of our management team.”In the letter, Meir said Simonlacaj had expressed remorse. “He has always been forthright with me and my partner and and has a reputation for being fair and honest within the industry,” Meir wrote.A sentencing memorandum from his attorneys at the time said because of Simonlacaj’s client-facing role, he would lose his position if his work were interrupted by incarceration.Meir and Zeil Feldman, HFZ’s chairman and founder, did not return requests for comment.Simonlacaj is the son of Yugoslavian immigrants who settled in Brooklyn in 1967 to escape ethnic oppression and who went on to own apartment buildings in the Bronx. He grew up around New York — from Westchester to the Bronx to Washington Heights — and lived “modestly,” according to the memorandum and other letters on Simonlacaj’s behalf.The filings describe Simonlacaj as a hard worker and a family man; he married in 1993 and has three children. He was also portrayed as an active member of the local Albanian community, helping scores of immigrants settle into life in America.At HFZ, he has had a hand in major projects, including its 34-story under-construction NoMad office tower at 3 West 29th Street and Bryant Park’s first residential tower, The Bryant.The latest indictment charged a dozen defendants, including alleged members of the Gambino crime family from the Bronx and Westchester.Simonlacaj’s cousin Mark “Chippy” Kocaj and the alleged mobsters ran a carpentry firm, CWC Contracting, that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks and bribes to employees of numerous construction and development companies — Simonlacaj among them, prosecutors allege.The firm worked on multiple HFZ projects, including the XI, public records show. The bribes were paid in the form of free labor and materials to renovate Simonlacaj’s home in Scarsdale, according to the indictment.In a statement, HFZ said it, along with other developers in NYC, learned of the investigation into CWC months ago and removed CWC from its projects. “HFZ immediately terminated Mr. Simonlacaj’s employment upon learning of the allegations against him, which run contrary to the values of the firm and how its business is conducted,” HFZ said.Prosecutors allege that Kocaj, an alleged associate of the Gambinos, and Vincent Fiore, an alleged Gambino soldier, bragged about the connection.“This director, John. There’s a beautiful ‘in’ there,” Fiore allegedly said. “There’s things we can do with [Kocaj] there, he whispers what he needs to whisper and we get things done.”Update: This article was updated to include a statement from HFZ and additional information about Simonlacaj’s first conviction. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img read more

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US Factories, Builders Lift Economy: New July Reports

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe U.S. economy looked more resilient Wednesday after reports showed factories produced more goods in July and homebuilders grew more confident in the housing recovery. Industrial output expanded at the fastest pace since April.Other encouraging gains included July reports that showed consumers stepped up retail spending and employers created the most jobs since February. (READ the AP story at ABC News)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Overland Park hopes state will pass LGBTQ anti-discrimination bill — but would consider own measure if legislature doesn’t act

first_imgMayor Carl Gerlach said the state was in a better position to enforce anti-discrimination measures than cities. File photo.Saying the Kansas legislature is the best venue for addressing discrimination issues, the Overland Park City Council on Monday affirmed its support of an anti-discrimination bill recently introduced in Topeka. However if the bill fails, Overland Park leaders vow to bring their own non-discrimination resolution up for discussion.The city became the latest in Johnson County to consider whether to formalize protections for LGBTQ residents. Mission, Merriam, Prairie Village, and in 2014, Roeland Park have all approved non-discrimination measures. But unlike Overland Park, the other cities enacted ordinances that work at the municipal level.Reps. Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard have introduced a bill in the House that would provide legal protections for LGBTQ Kansans. Photo credit office of Rep. Brandon Woodard.Overland Park took a different path with its resolution, which signaled Kansas’s second-largest city’s support for a change in state law proposed by the two first openly LGBTQ members of the Kansas legislature, Reps. Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard, both of the Shawnee Mission area.The state is in a better position to enforce discrimination issues than cities, said Mayor Carl Gerlach on Monday. With a state anti-discrimination law in place, victims could sue for damages. But the most a city can do with an ordinance is levy a fine, Gerlach said.The measure approved Monday puts the city on record against discrimination by sexual orientation. But it would have to be revisited if state lawmakers don’t approve their non-discrimination bill. In that case, the council would have to come back and devise some mechanism for enforcement, he said.Council members at a committee of the whole meeting indicated they were willing to do that. Councilmember Curt Skoog offered to bring it before the council’s community development committee, which he chairs.A non-discrimination bill in the statehouse has potential this year. The bills in the House and Senate have 53 sponsors, and Gov. Laura Kelly has reinstated protections for LGBTQ citizens that were eliminated by former Gov. Sam Brownback. But there is opposition. After the bills were introduced, opponents put forward one that would label same-sex marriages “parody” marriages and seek to stop the state from recognizing them.Council members expressed no reservations about the non-discrimination measure.“I think it’s great that a city of our size and magnitude in Kansas as the second largest city – it says a lot by doing this,” said Councilmember Chris Newlin.Gerlach said there are a lot of questions about the kinds of ordinances that have been passed by other cities, including whether such ordinances are even legal. But approving an ordinance without some way to enforce it is “not the way we work,” he said. “Hopefully we all agree that we want to get rid of all discrimination in our city,” he said.last_img read more

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Shortstop Gates added to University’s hall of fame

first_imgShortstop Gates added to University’s hall of fame Emily PolglazeJuly 1, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe timing seems almost too perfect for former Minnesota shortstop Brent Gates Sr. to enter his alma mater’s Hall of Fame this summer.  “The rest is history,” Anderson said. In his final season with the team, Gates Sr. had a .412 batting average and earned First Team All-Big Ten and First Team All-American honors, as well as the Big Ten Player of the Year award.  “He’ll go down as one of the great players in the history of Minnesota baseball, which is pretty significant.” “I got the phone call and never really expected it,” Gates Sr. said. “But when it sank in, and I realized the athletes I’m joining — it’s quite the honor.”  Gates Sr., who primarily played shortstop for the Gophers from 1988 to 1991, was one of 14 announced inductees to the University of Minnesota’s “M” Club Hall of Fame last week — just a few months before his son Brent Jr. is set to join Minnesota’s men’s hockey program this fall. After an impressive senior season with the Gophers, Gates Sr. was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the 1991 MLB Draft — 26th overall. He played 403 games with the Athletics from 1993 to 1996, finishing sixth in the 1993 American League Rookie of the Year voting.  The family is native to Grand Rapids, Mich., making Gates Jr. the first Michigan native to skate for the Gophers. Gates Sr., a switch-hitter, has the second-best batting average in program history at .387, one of the many reasons he’ll be joining the “M” Club. “Nothing is given to you. Being a dad, I’ve harped on that,” Gates Sr. said. “He works very hard, and hopefully he’ll be a great teammate.” Returning to Minnesota for his final two years of professional baseball, Gates Sr. played 217 games for the Twins in 1998 and 1999. He ended his pro career with a cumulative batting average of .264, 616 hits and 25 home runs.  “I’ve obviously got some big shoes to fill,” Gates Jr. said. “He was pretty successful here and went on to have a good pro career, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to live up to what he did. … We’re playing different sports, but it’s pretty cool to come after someone like him and follow in his footsteps.”  Although Gates Sr. now works as a scout in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization, his Minnesota experience is far from over.  Though the surfaces father and son play on may be polar opposites, Gates Sr. said he learned a lot about the game of hockey during his time with the Gophers.  His son, Gates Jr., will be a freshman on the hockey team this season.  Gates Sr. said he was glad to come back to campus last weekend to be with his son during the 2015 NHL Draft process. Gates Jr., whom the Anaheim Ducks selected at 80th overall, will likely also be a professional athlete. Gates Sr. wasn’t initially recruited by Minnesota, but once the team’s resident shortstop hurt his knee, Anderson had a spot to fill.  “[Brent Gates Sr.] fits the criteria in every way you want to measure it,” said head baseball coach John Anderson, who has held his position for more than 30 years. Gates Sr. said he owes much of his professional success to his mentors at Minnesota.  “My career wouldn’t have happened without those guys,” he said. Though he won’t be around to keep a close eye on his son, Gates Sr. knows from experience that the younger Gates will learn a great deal during his time at Minnesota.  “It’s such a great hockey school, and we loved going to the games,” Gates Sr. said. “I had a lot of respect for hockey players in general for how physically demanding and mentally tough they are.”last_img read more

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How much longer must we wait for new housing standards?

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

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South Africa’s Zuma won’t participate further in corruption inquiry

first_imgJacob Zuma’s son agrees to testify before South Africa’s graft inquiry panel Gupta-Zuma corruption inquiry begins in South Africa A lawyer for former South African president Jacob Zuma told a corruption inquiry on Friday that Zuma would not take part in the inquiry further because he felt that he was being questioned unfairly.“Chair, we are here today to say we will take no further part in these proceedings,” lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane told the inquiry. He said Zuma had been subject to “relentless cross-examination.”Related South Africa’s Zuma tells corruption inquiry there is conspiracy against him South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma reacts during a rally following the launch of a social housing project in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, April 1, 2017. REUTERS/Rogan Wardlast_img read more

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