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The average number of Jamaicans travelling to Canada under the Canadian Overseas Workers Programme has now reached eight thousand (8,000) annually and according to Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, remittances from the programme have far exceeded Can$52 million over the past five years.
During bi-lateral talks at Jamaica House this morning (April 21) with Canadian Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Minister Charles expressed appreciation and said, “The Jamaican Government is committed to the programme and will ensure that quality workers with proven good behaviour are available to the Canadian farmers.”
He advised that Jamaica is investing a lot in training workers and that over the years qualified professionals have joined the Canadian workforce. More recently the Government has forged partnerships with a number of Canadian training institutions dealing with the Automotive Trade, Hospitality and Tourism, as well as Practical Nursing/Care.
Mr. Charles said, “The sharing of experiences in both countries can only enhance the skills of persons for the Jamaican and Canadian labour markets.” The Canada/Jamaica Agricultural Workers Programme began more than forty years ago.
Minister Charles was among the Government Ministers attending this morning’s signing of the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) Programme at Jamaica House between Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. The agreement provides funding for a four year programme that will improve the effectiveness of Jamaica’s justice system.
Prime Minister Harper leaves the island this afternoon at the end of a two day working visit.

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