Digital transformation holds the key to improving the labour market in the Caribbean, potentially addressing the vexing issue of brain drain; enabling the diaspora to return home and engage with the local economy; bringing widely-discussed economic diversification to fruition; and reducing reliance on government entities for jobs.
All of this can be accomplished by Caribbean residents having better opportunities to access remote work, not just for regional companies but for global organizations as well, and by local infrastructure being strengthened to accommodate this digital transformation.
This is where online talent recruitment agencies like Caribbean Employment Services Inc. can play a crucial role in helping to connect the people of the Caribbean with the best possible jobs for their skillset no matter which island they reside on.
There’s also the flip side of the remote work coin, where foreign “digital nomads” are permitted to live in their chosen tropical locale while working remotely for employers in their own home countries. This can also benefit local economies, providing a boost from both angles of remote workers.
“But, while COVID has opened our eyes to the urgent need to diversify the economy, it seems like the opportunity right in front of our faces is not being fully grasped.
“There is still enormous potential for residents to take advantage of remote work, especially in this age of digitization.
“Instead of waiting for local jobs, now is the time to use the resources available online to tap into that digital market and find a new way to earn a living.”
As one of the fastest-growing online recruitment agencies in the region, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. has a growing database that jobseekers and employers alike can take advantage of as the digital economy continues to rise.
Several regional leaders have likewise encouraged Caribbean natives to embrace remote work in the increasingly digital global environment that was spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just last week, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Governor Timothy Antoine spoke to the economy of Montserrat in particular, asserting that digital development is a viable way for Montserratians to earn a living.
“We have to be positioned to tap into the digital economy,” he said.
“A Montserratian should be able to stay here in Montserrat and sell to any part of the world because he or she is connected to the digital economy.”
He added, “For example, just to make it clear, whether you’re doing something like digital marketing, you’re doing digital engineering, you’re doing graphic design, you’re doing websites, social media work, coding, there is a range of possibilities for young people and others in this digital economy to make a living right here on Montserrat.
“That’s what we want to see more of so there’s less dependence on the government to create a job and less people have to leave Montserrat to find a job.
“Tap into the digital economy and you can do it from your island home.”
Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) CEO Christine Ntim, from Haiti, also spoke to the “Decade of Workforce Digitization” during the most recent Caribbean Future Summit.
“We’re now redefining what it means to work; there are opportunities that are not only available within the Caribbean region but there’s also global remote employment opportunities that our young people can tap into,” she said.
As a member of the diaspora living in the United States, Ntim spoke to the Caribbean diaspora hiring workers from their home countries.
Through this intricate, digital web of highly skilled residents working remotely while still contributing to their local economies; the diaspora either returning home to work remotely or hiring locals from their hometown for remote jobs; digital nomads from abroad living in the Caribbean without interrupting local job markets; and the right infrastructure to hold it all together, Caribbean economies can achieve economic diversification and prosperity in an unprecedented way.