KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Recruitment for the Overseas Employment Programme, administered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will be held between June 26 and July 17.
This programme provides opportunities for hundreds of Jamaicans on Canadian and American farms yearly.
Recruitment for the programme is done based on the needs of employers. The last recruitment was done in 2015 and resulted in a pool of approximately 3,000 persons from which to select.
To ensure successful placement in the programme, persons must satisfy a number of requirements. Candidates must:
• Be between 21 and 45 years old
• Possess a Tax Registration Number (TRN) and a National Insurance Scheme (NIS) number
• Possess a valid passport
• Have not been refused a visa in the last year by the Canadian or United States of America authorities
• Not have been previously deported from any country
• Possess no criminal record
Application forms are available through several avenues, including Members of Parliament, mayors and councillors, the ministry’s parish offices, civic organisations, trade unions and agricultural schools.
After the forms have been completed and submitted to the ministry, they are processed and then interviews are scheduled islandwide.
Normally, four locations are visited across the country – 110-114 East Street in Kingston; Mandeville, Manchester; Montego Bay, St James and St Ann.
Director of Manpower Services in the ministry, Andrea Miller Stennett, explained to JIS News that after the interview stage, candidates are put in a pool for placement.
“They are then required to submit a police record before they do a medical examination. If the candidates are found to be in good health, they are placed with an employer and then we call them to do biometric tests,” she outlined.
They then fulfil the visa requirements for Canada or the United States, after which travel arrangements are made.
Miller-Stennett, however, cautioned candidates that even if they have met the requirements outlined by the ministry, there is no guarantee that they will be employed.
“The ministry cannot guarantee placement on any farm overseas, even if the candidates are successful with our processes, because there is a visa process that they have to go through where the Canadian and US authorities make a determination as to whether or not they are admissible,” she said.
Approximately 375 farmworkers left the island for Canada in January. Last year, 15,611 workers participated in the Overseas Employment Programme. Of this figure, 8,934, or more than 50 per cent, went to Canada. This represented an increase of 844 new workers when compared with the same period in 2015.
More information on the Overseas Employment Programme can be found on the Ministry’s website: www.mlss.gov.jm or by calling 922-9500-14.