JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The SAWP recruits agricultural workers to work in Canada to meet the short term demand of manual labour during planting and harvesting seasons.
  • The Minister reported that the SAWP contributed some Cdn$16 million in remittance in 2014 and Cdn$20 million in 2015.
  • Director of the Overseas Employment Services Centre, Delroy Palmer, told JIS News that the programme has grown by 10 per cent every year, as Ministry staff work tirelessly to create more employment opportunities for Jamaicans in Canada.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says  the Ministry is seeking to expand the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (SAWP), in an effort to provide more overseas employment opportunities for Jamaicans under the Canadian Overseas Employment Programme.

The SAWP  recruits agricultural workers to work in Canada to meet the short term demand of manual labour during planting and harvesting seasons.

Speaking at a recent Dispatch of Farm Workers to Canada ceremony at the Overseas Employment Services Centre on East Street, Kingston, on January 5, Dr. Ferguson said that the SAWP is an example of the critical role that the Ministry plays in the country’s growth agenda, in terms of the foreign exchange remittance by the farm workers.

“This programme is not a little programme… when you think about the issues that we have with unemployment, the problems we have in relation to family life when parents and others are not able to earn to take care of their families…we have to recognize the worth of this programme,” the Minister said.

The Minister reported that the SAWP contributed some  Cdn$16 million in remittance in 2014 and Cdn$20 million in 2015.

Director of the Overseas Employment Services Centre, Delroy Palmer, told JIS News that the programme has grown by 10 per cent every year, as Ministry staff work tirelessly to create more employment opportunities for Jamaicans in Canada.

“We have a liaison team in Canada that speak directly with the employers. They are the ones that do the marketing strategy to meet with the employers and encourage the employers to take more Jamaican (workers) and so from that standpoint, they are there and they are working,” the Minister said.

The Labour Ministry operates several programmes which invite Jamaicans to take advantage of employment opportunities in Canada and the United States. These include: the Canadian Farm Work Programme, the US Farm Work Programme, and the Hotel Work Programme.