News Release

Caribbean Development Bank Tackles Labour Market Inequalities at Upcoming Annual Meeting

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The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is convening global experts for a ground-breaking seminar on achieving employment equity and promoting inclusion in the Region’s labour markets.

Scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2024, the forum entitled "Employment Equity: Promoting Inclusion in Caribbean Labour Markets" is part of the roster of activities of the Bank’s 54th Annual Meeting, slated for June 17 – 21 in Ottawa, Canada. The event will turn the spotlight on long-standing inequalities which affect employment prospects of women, youth, and indigenous populations.

The agenda promises robust discussions and actionable insights. It will feature the findings of the Bank's comprehensive Labour Market Differentials study, shedding light on the gaps in opportunities and differential impacts on various vulnerable groups. Additionally, the study looks at the future of work and the job market outlook in key sectors as the Region strives towards an inclusive and equitable labour landscape.  

CDB’s Acting Vice President, Operations, Mrs Therese Turner-Jones said, “Inequitable labour markets hold back inclusive, sustainable economic growth and CDB is taking a leadership role in driving positive change. We look forward to this invaluable engagement with our stakeholders and interest groups as we strengthen our partnerships to further address systemic inequalities and develop the Region.”

The cross-sectoral engagement will connect the dots between labour market outcomes for vulnerable populations and impacts on economic growth and development. There will be a mapping exercise to create truly inclusive and equitable labour markets. In addition, innovative practices for transforming labour markets and the future of work will be explored, and recommendations from the study will be presented.

Mr. Ian Durant, Director of Economics at CDB said, "The Caribbean has a tremendous opportunity to redefine our workforce paradigms as economies rebound from the pandemic's impacts. We must act decisively to level the playing field and unlock our full potential, and this seminar will spark critical dialogue and identify concrete solutions to dismantle the systemic barriers facing vulnerable groups. I urge all stakeholders to join this critical conversation on sustaining growth in our labour markets."

The panel of participants includes Honourable Colin Jordan, MP Minister of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector, Barbados, Dr Halima DeShong, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus; Mr. Wilson Pearce, Senior Director – Global Business Development for the Canadian Commercial Corporation, and Ms. Josée Bégin, Assistant Chief Statistician responsible for Social, Health and Labour Statistics Field at Statistics Canada. CDB’s Acting Vice-President of Operations, Mrs. Therese Turner-Jones will serve as moderator.

The seminar will be livestreamed on CDB’s Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube platforms. The event should be of particular interest to persons involved in national planning, employment, research, gender and indigenous pursuits.