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JIS News

The first batch of workers who will take up employment as window cleaners in British Columbia, Canada, will leave the island on March 22.
Six of the 12 men received training yesterday (February 27), and got the opportunity to meet their potential employer, Sun Valley Window Cleaners, at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in downtown Kingston.
Portfolio Minister, Pearnel Charles in his address at the training session, urged the workers to do their best as they would be setting the standard for their fellow Jamaicans. “You are premium to us, you are going to break ground for hundreds of other Jamaicans who are slated to follow for the rest of this year and we are expecting much from you. We are expecting you to represent the people of Jamaica,” he said.He added that they are to be ambassadors of the new policy laid down by the government, which is to “send Jamaicans abroad, (who will) work temporarily, take care of their business and family and come back to Jamaica.”
The Minister noted that there is the fear that Jamaican workers will not return when they go on work programmes abroad and as such the workers must “always remember that you’re representing a new approach, finding the jobs for Jamaicans abroad.”
“The fear is that Jamaicans will run away but we have stopped running away a long time. You will have down times, you will have moments of unhappiness but the enthusiasm which you demonstrated here today should inspire you to always remember that the rest of us are looking on..we must let this country feel that they have done a good job,” he added.
Minister Charles explained that the workers will be paid Cdn$28 an hour because they are trained and certified. “When they land in Canada, they will have already been trained, so they go straight to work,” he said.
“Jamaicans should be trained here, so when they go to Canada they will get the right rate. If they are not trained here they will probably start at Cdn$17 an hour,” the Minister explained. He added that additional contractors would be coming on board later this year.
In the meanwhile, owner of Sun Valley Window Cleaners, Martin McDermott said he is very pleased with the workers chosen because they have shown that they are hard workers.
“I’ve got these six young brilliant men that I’ve selected and I’m very proud of them. They have integrity, the enthusiasm and they learn easily. Most of all what I’ve been developing through this training is teamwork, they have been helping each other and that’s going to be one of the key successes to Sun Valley at home.everybody helps everybody there,” he said.
Mr. McDermott pointed out that the overseas programme of the Ministry was bridging the employment gap within his firm. “Last year I had problems with employment and it was suggested to me to come to Jamaica and I thought ‘well there is a great opportunity,'” he said, while asserting that “without this, I’d still have employment problems at home.”