(Jamaica Gleaner) A total of 16,681 Jamaicans were placed in employment opportunities in Canada and the United States under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s overseas employment programme during the 2018 season.
This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister Shahine Robinson during a send-off ceremony for 300 Jamaicans who will take up employment opportunities in Canada for this year under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (SAWP).
The function was held at the Ministry’s Overseas Employment Services Centre in downtown Kingston on Thursday.
The SAWP, which is part of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Overseas Employment Programme, involves contractual agricultural workers who are recruited to meet the short-term demand of manual labour during planting and harvesting seasons.
“This represents an increase of 703 workers, compared to the 2017 season. So we are growing,” Robinson said.
She said the figure indicates that 60 per cent or 9,820 of the opportunities were secured in the Canadian labour market, compared to 9,367 in 2017.
Robinson noted that the SAWP accounted for the larger part with 9,204 seasonal workers, while 616 workers were employed under the low-skill programme.
“Like SAWP, the low-skill programme offers employment in the Canadian agricultural sector. However, this component of the programme provides more non-traditional opportunities for employment in other sectors of the Canadian labour market, such as fisheries and hospitality,” she added.