The recent addition of another category of workers allowed to move between CARICOM islands without work permits has increased the likelihood of indigenous workers losing jobs to non-nationals. At the 30th Heads of Government Conference in Georgetown which ended this past weekend, CARICOM’s Chairman Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo informed that household domestic workers were added to the list of those qualified for full free movement. “Household domestics who have obtained the appropriate qualification will be allowed to move with effect from January 1st, 2010. However these workers will have to possess a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) or equivalent qualification to take advantage of the free movement.”All member states agreed to the inclusion of the new category with the exception of Belize and Antigua & Barbuda, which have both requested more time to assess the impact on their respective economies. Antigua & Barbuda was given a 5-year moratorium before the country will be required to sign on to the agreement, during which time it was proposed the CARICOM Secretariat would complete a socio-economic impact study related to the expansion of free movement categories. Despite certain modification over the years, the free movement of skills initiative originated in the 1989 Grand Anse Declaration and allowed a certain category of workers the right to seek employment in any of the 15 member state with the elimination of the need for work permits and permits of stay. Free movement was to be implemented in phases with a view to extend to all CARICOM nationals. The initial category included graduates with at least a Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized university; media persons; artists; musicians and sportspersons. Neither Minister of Labour, Hon. Sam Condor nor the Permanent Secretary in his Ministry, Osmond Petty could be reached to speak to what if any negative effects the expansion of the CSME free movement initiative could have on an increasingly competitive local work market.