JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, says the Government fully supports the Canada/Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Programme and will remain committed to the initiative.
“This programme represents a strong partnership between Canada and the countries of the Caribbean. It is a partnership based on Canada’s need for hardworking, disciplined and honest workers and the need of the Caribbean to find avenues through which we can provide meaningful work for high labour,” said Minister Charles, at the recent review meeting for the programme, which was held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios.
He noted that the programme has been expanded to include skilled workers in the construction and hospitality sectors, adding that a number of employers from British Columbia visited Jamaica in October to recruit workers. “They (employers) were very satisfied with the workers interviewed, and already we have received requests for a number of workers interviewed and selected,” he stated.
“The employers reported to me that while they were here, their greatest challenge was that they had too many qualified workers from which to choose,” the Minister boasted, informing that the selected workers will have the opportunity to ply their trade in Western Canada in the early part of the new year.
He further mentioned that the Ministry is collaborating with the HEART Trust/NTA, community-based training institutions, the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica (IMAJ) and other stakeholders, in an effort to provide training and certification for workers to meet the demand in the local and overseas job markets.
“We are also collaborating with the Okanagan College in British Columbia to establish a programme of having our construction workers Red Sealed and certified according to Canadian standard,” the Minister said, noting that the programme aims to facilitate the easy transition of the Jamaican worker into the Canadian labour force.
He thanked the employers and the authorities in Canada as well as the Canadian representatives in Jamaica for their support and wished for them future prosperity in their enterprises and continued growth and development of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme.

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