- Employment under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s overseas work programme is expected to exceed 13,400 for the 2013/14 period.
- The number is an increase over the 11,411 Jamaicans, who benefitted from job opportunities overseas during 2012/2013.
- The Minister said the number of workers requested by growers out of the United States is expected to increase.
Employment under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s overseas work programme is expected to exceed 13,400 for the 2013/14 period.
The number is an increase over the 11,411 Jamaicans, who benefitted from job opportunities overseas during 2012/2013.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said that the majority of the opportunities were realized in the Canadian labour market where more than 7,000 placements took place under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme.
“Another 591 were accounted for by the skilled and low skilled programme in areas of fast food, hospitality, the trucking industry and healthcare,” he stated.
The Minister was speaking on February 11, at the handing over of buses to the Overseas Employment Services Centre held at the facility’s location in Kingston. The event also saw ground being broken for construction of a pavilion for recruits utilising the centre.
As it relates to employment projections for 2014, the Minister said the number of workers requested by growers out of the United States is expected to increase, as Gebbers Farms in Washington State, which employs 414 males, has indicated that it will take on an additional 150 to 200 men.
“In Canada, a few new employers in the fishing and agricultural sectors have indicated their interest in Jamaican workers while some of the existing ones have requested new workers. Fast food/hospitality is already underway with new departures every week since January,” Mr. Kellier further informed.
The Minister noted that employers from several Canadian companies in the trucking and automotive sectors visited Jamaica in January, to conduct orientation sessions with prospective recruits.
“They desire to hire at least 230 new drivers and are also interested in interviewing auto mechanics who were already selected,” Mr. Kellier noted, adding that pre-selection activities for 2014 are currently being planned for both the Canadian and US Programmes.
The Labour Ministry operates four programmes to take advantage of employment opportunities in Canada and the United States. These are: the Canadian Farm Work Programme; the US Farm Work Programme; and the Hotel Work Programme.