JIS News

London Transport is this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of its direct recruitment scheme in the Caribbean.
A major part of the celebrations is a project to record the stories of the men and women from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago who answered its advertisements.
The Caribbean recruitment started in the 1950s as London Transport began a major recruitment drive to cope with the labour shortages following World War II.
After the Second World War, London Transport, like many other employers in the United Kingdom (UK) suffered from a severe shortage of labour. It became very difficult to fill the lower grade, poorly paid jobs, which could be dirty and difficult, and involved shift work and long hours.
After the war, thousands of Caribbean people made the long journey from the West Indies to the ‘mother country’ to find work. As the first wave of Jamaicans and other Caribbean immigrants settled in London, some found work with London Transport.
The direct recruitment began in Barbados in 1956 when men and women were invited to become bus conductors, underground staff, and canteen assistants. The scheme was expanded to include Jamaica and Trinidad in 1966.
“As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, we are asking people to share their stories and memories. It doesn’t matter which year you started working or what may have prompted your decision to come to London, we want to hear about your experience of coming to a new country and starting a new life and job. If you have photographs, letters, diaries or other mementoes, we would love to see them. Alternatively, if you have a relative or friend with a story they would like to share, perhaps you could help them to send it to us,” a release from Transport for London (TfL) said.
A selection of contributions will be published on the TfL and London’s Transport Museum websites, or reproduced in a publication to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations.
More information on the project can be found at: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/about/generations/index.asp.

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