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  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be undertaking an islandwide recruitment exercise for the Canadian Farm Work Programme from August 10 to 28.
  • This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, June 23.
  • He informed that candidates must have farming experience, and so persons who have received formal training in this field from one of the country’s established agricultural training institutions would be at an advantage.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will be undertaking an islandwide recruitment exercise for the Canadian Farm Work Programme from August 10 to 28.

This was disclosed by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, in a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, June 23.

“The Ministry will be going islandwide to preselect persons, who will be suitable to work under the Canadian Overseas Employment Programme so that when the Canadian employers submit requests for workers in the various categories, a ready supply of suitable workers will be available,” he said.

He informed that candidates must have farming experience, and so persons who have received formal training in this field from one of the country’s established agricultural training institutions would be at an advantage.

“Persons who do not have the requisite farming experience, whether formally or informally, are not suitable candidates for this aspect of the programme, and application forms should therefore not be distributed to them, for it is highly unlikely that such persons will be granted a visa to travel to Canada under the programme,” he said.

Potential recruits must be between the ages of 21-45; have farming experience; possess a certified copy of their birth certificate; be literate and of good character and in good health; and possess a valid Jamaican or CARICOM passport.

In addition, candidates must not have been previously disqualified from any Overseas Employment Programme due to medical or other reason; not have a criminal record; and not have been deported from any country.

The Labour Minister informed that in the distribution of application forms to Members of Parliament (MPs), those whose constituencies are located in the rural areas will receive a larger allocation “in view of the fact that we are aiming for candidates with farming experience of one sort or the other.”

Minister Kellier warned that the forms should not be reproduced either through photocopying, computer generation or any other means. These duplicates will not be accepted; and under no circumstances should the forms be sold, he said.

The application forms should be completed by the candidates and returned to their MP accompanied by a passport-sized photograph and a character reference from either a Justice of the Peace or a security officer.

“Most important, the forms must be returned by the Member of Parliament to the Ministry by July 10, 2015.  Thereafter, they will be processed and the names of all candidates compiled on a master list by constituency and parish,” he said.

The Minister further informed that the High Commission of Canada no longer requires a fingerprint check from the Ministry for selected candidates. Instead, a police certificate from the Technical Services Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is now requested.

This document is to be submitted when the successful candidates are called in to commence preparation for travel and to complete a medical.

Minister Kellier noted that the nation’s flagship Overseas Employment Programme has been contributing to the social and economic development of Jamaica for more than 60 years.

He said the programme assists in seeing to the basic needs of thousands of Jamaican families through improved access to education, better housing, healthcare, and other amenities. In the 2014/2015 fiscal year alone, more than 14,000 workers travelled overseas to take up employment opportunities.

In addition, remittance inflows from the Canadian Overseas Employment Programme contributed Cdn$15.5 million (approximately J$1.7 billion) to the Jamaican economy during 2014.

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.