KINGSTON — HEART Trust/NTA in a release Tuesday (October 4) says it has failed to identify any evidence of Jamaican employers asking for “browning” or light-skinned trainees for employment.
"An extensive search of our records, as well as interviews with staff involved in the recruitment process, has failed to identify any evidence supporting such ‘browning’ requests," HEART Trust/NTA said in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Director of Marketing and Communications, Tiffany Johnson.
The release was in response to an article published in the Sunday Gleaner on September 11 and headlined, “Brownings, please”. The article claimed that HEART/NTA still has to deal with "colour-prejudiced employers who are requesting that trainees be brown or light-skinned, as a prerequisite for employment in their firms."
The article also claimed that “some employers spew out bigoted requirements to the face of the HEART Trust's training agents or training support officers”, and added that HEART Trust/NTA "try our best not to (accommodate the discrimination)…sometimes we try to ignore the request."
The Sunday Gleaner article created a storm over the issue of employers discriminating against dark skinned persons seeking employment, and even drew the attention of Public Defender, Earl Witter, whom HEART Trust/NTA said had written the agency requesting clarification “on several points raised in the article."
"The Trust has duly complied with the Office of the Public Defender by way of letters dated September 26 and September 30, 2011," the release said.
"The HEART Trust/NTA reiterates that it remains committed to fulfilling its mandate of training all working age Jamaicans regardless of gender, colour or class,” the agency's release concluded.
By Balford Henry, JIS Reporter & Editor