JIS News

Tertiary level students, who are seeking summer employment abroad, are being urged to exercise caution about the agencies that they sign up with for work.
Co-ordinator for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s J1 Summer Work Programme, Lorna Young, said that students must be very vigilant and refrain from paying money to persons offering jobs overseas.
“Students need to be sure about who they are dealing with. Check on the status of the agencies that are offering jobs overseas and foremost, they are not to pay any money to anyone who is offering jobs, especially monies for registration,” she cautioned.
She said that the “only money they should be paying is money for the programme, but they have to be sure that the money they are paying is for legitimate reasons and that they are not just asked to pay a certain amount, which has no outlined purpose.”
Ms. Young told JIS News that in recent times, complaints have been filed by students about not receiving jobs promised by these agencies. She advised that in the event of such occurrence, students should report the matter to the police, as well as the relevant embassy on their return to the island.
“Students need to report their cases to the embassies when they return to Jamaica, because they (the agencies) ought not to be telling them that there is a job when there is none,” she stated.
In addition, students are being urged to check with the Ministry to ensure that the agencies that are offering jobs overseas are registered.
Ms. Young explained that while the Ministry communicates with the placement officers in the tertiary institutions, who would pass the information on to students, it was not possible to get information out to everybody.
“If they (the students) contact their placement officers, they can get information there. Students can also check with the Ministry of Labour’s office at 1F North Street, about certification for agencies that are allowed to source jobs for persons overseas because they are registered with the Ministry of Labour,” she pointed out.
In the meantime, Ms. Young told JIS News that students were being recruited for the Ministry’s J1 Summer Work Programme.
“We started doing recruitments already and so far, we have received over 300 applicants. We have some scheduled to come in for medicals soon. Thus far, we have been sourcing jobs for housekeepers, dishwashers, front desk personnel, and food and beverage personnel etc.,” she informed.
She assured that “our programmes are guaranteed and if we start processing anyone and there is a problem, whether on the part of the student or employer, we can refund the students. We don’t collect money unless we are sure of the job’s availability.”
Instituted in 2006, the J1 Summer Work Programme, is a four-month work and travel programme, which gives tertiary level students the opportunity to experience another culture while earning money to support their stay. Students are primarily selected from fields, such as hospitality and tourism management, and agriculture/agribusiness.
The programme was revised in 2007 to implement improvements. A total of 88 students received jobs overseas under the initiative last year.

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