Grenada is among six CARICOM countries that have been on the receiving end of fake skills certificates from CARICOM nationals especially Jamaicans who are seeking employment.
This was confirmed by Minister of CARICOM Affairs, Oliver Joseph at Tuesday’s post-Cabinet Press Briefing in which he told reporters that the matter was discussed at the recently held Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting in Guyana.
According to Minister Joseph, Grenada had two reported cases in 2018 where fake skills certificates were presented to obtain employment and Jamaica has been recognised as the country where most of the culprits came from.
At the COTED meeting, Minister Joseph said it was decided that the skills certificates should be standardised in an effort to eradicate the issue.
“That was discussed at the COTED meeting that I just came from – a number of fake certificates. The meeting took a decision on security features for these certificates, and Jamaica has been identified, as the country that the most fake certificates came from, and so they gave a commitment – the Jamaica delegation – to introduce security features in it that will ensure that no one could fake the certificate”, he said.
“…In Grenada, I know there were two reported cases. In some member states it was higher – these fake skilled certificates and the meeting did address that. The recommendation is that we should standardise the certificate with the security features in it, so that you minimise or get rid – if you could – of people producing fake certificates,” he added.
According to a report prepared by the CARICOM Secretariat for the COTED meeting, 168 fake skills certificates were identified in six CARICOM countries in 2018 and Jamaicans were the holder of 167 of those false documents, the other involved a Guyanese.
Of this amount, the volume of the fake documents some 148 were submitted for jobs in Trinidad and Tobago.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, and St. Lucia were the other targeted countries by the Jamaicans.
The skills certificate is part of a CARICOM law adopted by the 15-member block to allow nationals with certain skills to move freely and work in any of the participating countries without the need for a work permit.