375 Farm Workers Leave for Canada January 4

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, greets some farm workers as they board the bus yesterday (January 3) after they were dispatched at the Ministry’s Overseas Employment Services Centre in Kingston to work in Canada.

Story Highlights

  • A group of approximately 375 farm workers is scheduled to leave the island on Wednesday, January 4 to take up employment opportunities in greenhouse production of vegetables, fruits and other agricultural crops in Canada.
  • Last year, 15,611 workers participated in the Overseas Employment Programme. Of this figure, 8,934, or more than 50 per cent, went to Canada. This represented an increase of 844 new workers when compared with the same period in 2015.
  • Director of Manpower Services, Andrea Miller Stennett, told JIS News that the Ministry expects to surpass 2016’s overall figure by 1,000 this year.

The first batch of farm workers for 2017 were dispatched yesterday (January 3), at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Overseas Employment Services Centre, in downtown Kingston.

The group of approximately 375 workers is scheduled to leave the island on Wednesday, January 4 to take up employment opportunities in greenhouse production of vegetables, fruits and other agricultural crops in Canada.

Addressing the group, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, emphasised the importance of the programme to not only the participants but to the local economy.

“The Jamaica-Canada employment programme continues to be a constant source of job opportunity for thousands of Jamaicans and a vital source of foreign-exchange remittances to the Jamaican economy,” she said.

Last year, 15,611 workers participated in the Overseas Employment Programme. Of this figure, 8,934, or more than 50 per cent, went to Canada. This represented an increase of 844 new workers when compared with the same period in 2015.

The Labour Minister also pointed out that the marked increase is evidence of the Ministry’s efforts to broaden the programme.

“We in the Ministry are working to ensure an expansion in the programme and, accordingly, we are pursuing strategies such as additional opportunities in existing markets and diversification to new ones,” she noted.

Meanwhile, the Minister warned the public to be aware of “unscrupulous” persons who offer overseas jobs.

“I urge you to verify with the Ministry the authenticity or legitimacy of all such agencies before making any commitment. I urge you to contact the Ministry before sending payments through any remittance service. Also, be careful about jobs being offered through the Internet and social media,” she pleaded.

Director of Manpower Services, Andrea Miller Stennett, told JIS News that the Ministry expects to surpass 2016’s overall figure by 1,000 this year.

“This increase is attributed to the demand from Canada. More employers are demanding more workers and we have a number of new farms that have joined the programme,’ she said.
Another group of workers will be dispatched later this month.

Last year, Jamaica observed the 50th anniversary of the Canada-Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme.

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