Golding: JLP will not issue work permits left, right and centre
FALMOUTH, Trelawny – Opposition Leader Bruce Golding says the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) would not issue work permits in a haphazard manner to foreigners seeking employment in the island’s tourism sector, if the party forms the next government.
“I make no apology and I want to say it before the election that the Ministry of Labour, under my watch, is not going to issue work permits left, right and centre. Every application for a work permit will be considered and will be approved only if we are satisfied that that application is for a kind of worker, and the kind of skill that we don’t have in Jamaica,” said Golding.
He was speaking in Falmouth on Tuesday night at a mass rally in support of Dennis Meadows, the party’s candidate for North Trelawny.
“Under my government we are not going to take kind to waiters coming from abroad because we have Jamaicans who can do that work, and if we don’t have enough (workers) we must train them and make them available to do that work,” Golding said. “This business of bringing workers from everywhere to make up bed in hotel is not going to work,” the JLP leader told supporters.
In recent years concerns have been raised about the high percentage of work permits being issued to foreign workers, particularly in the tourism sector.
But some hoteliers have argued that they had to employ some foreign nationals because of the island’s largely unskilled labour force.
On Tuesday night, Golding told the labourites that under a JLP government, the Heart Trust/NTA would be utilised in training workers for employment in the island’s hotel sector.
“When we sit down and talk to a hotel and they say that they are going to build 800 rooms, the next question that we are going to ask them is how many workers they will want, and what kind of workers. And when they list what they want, I am coming to Heart Trust to get them to start recruiting and training people so that when that hotel is ready they are available,” he said.