19% Increase in Hotel Workers to the US

Photo: Marlon Tingling Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson (5th left) and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Collette Roberts Risden (4th right), with United States employers who are in the island recruiting Jamaicans for the hotel sector in that country. The Minister hosted the employers at breakfast at the Hilton Rose Hall resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on January 17.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says there was a 19 per cent increase in the number of Jamaicans who gained employment through the United States (US) hotel programme in 2016, compared to 2015.
  • Mrs. Robinson said the trend of recruiting more Jamaicans for the programme is expected to continue this year, with several new employers added to the group.
  • The Minister said that the continued engagement of Jamaican workers and the presence of recruiters in the country demonstrate the mutual benefits which can be derived from the programme.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, says there was a 19 per cent increase in the number of Jamaicans who gained employment through the United States (US) hotel programme in 2016, compared to 2015.

Addressing a breakfast meeting with a number of US hotel employers at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay on January 17, the Minister said the 2016 figure was the highest number of Jamaicans to participate in the programme since 2007.

She noted that in 2016, some 2,300 Jamaicans were placed in the hotels in the US, compared to 1,927 in 2015.

Mrs. Robinson said the trend of recruiting more Jamaicans for the programme is expected to continue this year, with several new employers added to the group.

She pointed out that among the employers now seeking workers is Homestead Resort, which has been employing Jamaicans since the 1970s.

“This is testimony of the long-standing relationship that we share with employers and that we value,” the Minister said.

Mrs. Robinson said over the years, the US employers have been getting some of the best hospitality talents available, and this has added further value to the recruitment exercise.

“Our Jamaican workers provide critically needed skills in the labour markets of the USA and Canada through the H2A and H2B programmes, and as employers, you certainly benefit from a stable supply of reliable labour to meet your labour-related needs,” she told the US employers.

The Minister said that the continued engagement of Jamaican workers and the presence of recruiters in the country demonstrate the mutual benefits which can be derived from the programme.

Mrs. Robinson said the Ministry remains committed to the efficient management of the programme, while seeking ways in which it can be enhanced and expanded.

The employers, who are from Colorado, North Carolina and Michigan, are seeking to recruit some 260 employees for their companies.

JIS Social