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Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, says that stringent vetting measures will be implemented in the issuing of work permits to foreign nationals.

He said that the Ministry has to ensure that permits are not being granted for skill sets that are within the Jamaican labour force.

“The business of handing out work permits will not be an automatic system. It will be carefully examined to determine if the job that is being requested can be filled by someone local and who is trained here in Jamaica. There is going to be a requirement for the appropriate discussion as to the scarcity of that job before we open up and say, bring them in,” he pointed out.

Minister Samuda said that the Government has an obligation to protect the local labour force, particularly as the country continues to deal with challenges brought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have to make sure that we safeguard those valuable assets that we were developing before the advent of COVID-19 and safeguard all those talented people and keep them in their jobs,” he said.

Minister Samuda was speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and the University of Technology (UTech), at his North Street office in Kingston on Friday (October 23).

The Ministry is partnering with the tertiary institution to promote the use of the Labour Market Information System (LMIS) in order to ensure that graduates are fully equipped to meet the demands of the job market.

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