Students involved in training programmes at the HEART Trust/NTA’s Rockfort Vocational Training Centre (VTC) are being encouraged to participate in the Oversees Employment Programme.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, made the appeal as he addressed an Employers’ Forum and Open Day held on Thursday, February 28, at the institution located on Windward Road, Kingston.
He said the Ministry requires skilled persons as well as seasonal agricultural and hospitality workers for jobs in the United States of America, Canada and Guantanamo Bay.
“In the United States, right now, we have opportunities for those persons, who are trained in the various disciplines in hospitality such as housekeeping, front desk operations, bell men, waiter and bartending,” Mr. Kellier said, while also pointing to prospects in the food service industry.
Mr. Kellier also said the Canadian Government is seeking overseas workers to fill a shortfall in its labour market of some 300,000 persons.
“They cannot replenish it as their population is low and when persons retire, they can’t replace those persons in full. Because their economy is growing, there is this demand for increased workers, so there is indeed a glorious opportunity overseas for Jamaican workers,” the Labour Minister said.
He said that skilled persons are needed in the construction industry such as masons, carpenters, welders, and heavy duty drivers.
The Labour Minister advised interested persons to register with the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System, noting that “from time-to-time, you will be called up for interviews.”
Since the 1960s, the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, has had an arrangement in place with employers in the US, to supply agricultural workers and, in more recent years, hospitality workers.
There have also been agreements with Canada for the provision of seasonal agricultural workers, and semi-skilled and low-skilled, non-agricultural workers.
In 2012 alone, the Canadian programme contributed in excess of $1.5 billion to the economy.
The Rockfort VTC, established in 2000, is an enterprise-based training facility for the HEART Trust/NTA.