Latest News

Gov't says more Jamaicans could be employed in Canada and US

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 | 4:38 PM    

Print this page Email A Friend!

KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) — The Jamaican government says it is seeking to expand the overseas employment programme so that more nationals can benefit from employment opportunities in Canada and the United States.

Labour and Social Security Minister, Derrick Kellier, said the move comes as the demand for skilled Jamaicans continue to grow in the two North American countries.

He said the Canadian farm work programme should see a 10 to 15 per cent growth this year.

“The same goes for the United States where we were down a couple years ago, but the numbers are creeping up again and we expect to see, based on new legislations that President Obama is trying to get through the Congress and the Senate, additional opportunities for us here in Jamaica, if that legislation is approved. So, there is going to be growth.”

Kellier met with representatives of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) to formalise agreements for flying Jamaican workers to the US and Canada.

He pointed out that Canada, in particular, has a huge labour market that needs to be filled and that Jamaica is currently doing well in filling some of that demand, but “we can double the numbers in another three years”.

He said the programme is of mutual benefit to the countries involved, as it provides work for Jamaicans, so that they can take care of their families as well as help to generate economic activity within the US and Canada.

“So, it is a cross border win, win situation for both of us and hence we in Jamaica have something to protect and to uphold, to ensure that this programme runs smoothly and that it develops and expands for the benefit of all our citizens who have the ability to participate in it; and that the employers in North America can be satisfied that they get good quality workers to expand their business in a productive way.”

Kellier noted that the government has put in “a lot of effort to grow the programme,” and warned against any illegal activity that might compromise the programme.

“We have put in a lot of resources to ensure the integrity of the programme at all levels. We want to ensure that we stand up to the highest level at scrutiny… We cannot afford to have persons travelling on the aircraft with illegal substances,” he said, adding that the overseas employment programme benefits the country immensely, through the foreign exchange that is remitted.

Like our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter





1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Do you believe Dr Peter Phillips will be a better People's National Party (PNP) president than Portia Simpson Miller?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon