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Jamaica looking to increase participants under US hospitality programme

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and their United States (US) counterparts are in discussion to increase the number of participants under the overseas hospitality programme.

This was disclosed by Portfolio Minister, Shahine Robinson, during an interview with JIS News recently.

“Last summer, a team led by myself and State Minister (Zavia) Mayne went to Washington DC where we met with the representatives of the [departments of Labour and Homeland Security]. We expressed our concerns and asked if they could look at raising the cap because internationally, there is a cap of 66,000 workers going into America under the hospitality programme.

“We spoke to them and we got some positive word. I don't want to make an announcement yet, but we are truly hoping that we will be able to send more workers,” she told JIS News.

She noted that the country is capable of supplying sufficiently trained and certified hospitality workers.

“We really want to send more people, and we reassured the US Government that we have some of the best hospitality workers in the world,” the minister added.

The hospitality programme is part of the Overseas Employment Programme under which 16,749 Jamaican workers were placed in jobs overseas in 2018.

A total of 9,940 workers went to Canada, while the remaining 6,809 were placed in the United States farm and hospitality programmes.

Robinson said the programmes have been life-changing for many of its participants.

“The upward mobility can be seen in the communities they live in,” she noted.

— JIS


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