Farm work recruitment process to begin
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has indicated that preparations are in high gear to begin recruitment for the Overseas Employment Programme.
Andrea Miller-Stennett, director of manpower services in the ministry, told The Gleaner that recruitment will begin on August 10 at four locations across the island.
Recruitment for the programme will take place at the Battersea Community Centre in Manchester, St John's Methodist Church in St James, Oracabessa New Testament Church hall in St Ann, and the Overseas Employment Centre in Kingston.
Miller-Stennett indicated that the Ministry of Labour team is in preparation mode to travel across parishes to facilitate applicants to the programme. She also indicated that this process will be complemented by assistance from members of parliament who were given a quota of application forms to distribute in their respective constituencies.
Rural MPs received 40 application forms each, while those in urban areas were each given 20 to distribute.
According to Miller-Stennett, these applications should be submitted by MPs before the ministry recruitment team hits the road so that they can be entered into the database and processed.
finite number of application forms
When he addressed the Parliament in regard to the farm work programme, Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier noted that "there really is no need for any controversy about the recruitment process on the basis of the allocation of the forms".
"I say this because on every occasion that we plan for a recruitment exercise, a finite number of application forms are prepared by the ministry. This means that the number of forms is always limited, as this depends on the number of persons actually targeted for recruitment," he said.
Kellier, in that presentation to Parliament, moved to clarify the recruitment process.
"I wish to clarify the spectre of misunderstanding surrounding the issue of how workers are selected during the recruitment drive process. The fact is that approximately 85 per cent of the workers who participate in the Overseas Employment Programme are known as 'requested workers'. This means that they had travelled to work overseas under the programme before and were requested to return by their respective employers. The other 15 per cent are new workers to the programme, who ultimately are selected from the pool," he said.
The ministry will be targeting 2,000 persons for recruitment to the Overseas Employment Programme.