|Ministry hails success of hotel work programme
But concerned about number of people who abscond
Monday, November 11, 2002
The labour ministry has hailed the success of its hotel work programme, from which it said workers on contract sent home $271 million in remittances from January to September this year.
This is more than the $150 million in remittances for the same period for Jamaican farm workers in the United States and Canada.
"The programme continues to provide not just a boost for the local economy, but there is no doubt that a number of families have seen improvements in the standard of living," said the ministry's Barrington Bailey, senior director of manpower services.
At the same time, however, Bailey has warned that the programme could be in danger because of the number of Jamaicans who run off each year,
He noted that 211 people from the hotel programme have so far absconded from the hotel programme in the United States, another 98 from the farm work programme in the Canada, 100 hundred less than the number of Jamaicans who ran off from the farm programme in the US.
According to the ministry official, 11 people have failed to return home from the Us farm work programme, compared to 29 last year.
But Bailey said that despite a reduction in the number of people who abscond the programme, the problem still posed a threat to the survival of the Overseas Employment programme.
Approximately 3,500 Jamaicans gained jobs under the programme this year.
Hundreds of workers on the farm work programme are expected home in the next few weeks, while recruitment will resume early next year.