Government should pay for farm-work recruitment, says MP
South East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Richard Parchment says the government should pay the upfront costs for Jamaicans wishing to participate in farm-work programmes.
Jamaica has seasonal farm-work programmes with the United States and Canada.
Speaking in parliament yesterday Parchment said the financial costs associated with signing up are punitive and places a burden on the majority of applicants, many of whom are poor.
The application form is free but the MP said aspirants have to find between $30 and $40,000 to go through the screening and preparation process.
There have been complaints over the years that many of those who apply for the farm-work programmes uproot their lives and spend large sums trying to get into the programme only to be turned down at the final stage.
It is against this background that Parchment is arguing that the current application system is in need of review.
He is suggesting that the government foots the bill upfront and recoup the money after the individual has been successful in securing employment.