Labour Minister: Be Wary Of Unregistered Job Agencies

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Minister of State with responsibility for Labour, Senator Arni Walters,??listens attentively as a Coast Guard Officer explains the??various knots used in sailing.??

The Labour Ministry is urging Barbadian job seekers to be cautious in accepting overseas job placements from persons or employment agencies not registered with the National Employment Bureau (NEB).

This warning has come from Minister of State with responsibility for Labour, Senator Arni Walters, who said his Ministry was unaware of any persons who had been licensed to recruit workers in Barbados for employment overseas or on cruise ships.

Speaking during the opening of the NEB’s Job Expo 2009, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, he explained that under the Recruitment of Workers Act Cap 354, "no persons shall recruit workers in Barbados unless they are licensed under that Act".

He added that, "flirtation with any such unregistered private employment agencies falls outside the protection which government can offer under the law."

Senator Walters acknowledged that these were tough economic times for many Barbadians, but he urged them to remain vigilant since these difficult conditions provided a thriving environment for questionable employment operations.

He also revealed that the Labour Ministry was working closely with the Ministry of International Transport to explore employment opportunities in the cruise ship industry and in traditional seafaring activities.

The Minister, therefore, urged job seekers to be patient and not run "the risk of exploitation through the use of unregistered private employment agencies."

Senator Walters also disclosed that Government was seeking to enact legislation to establish a $10 million Employment Re-training Fund (ETF) to support the training and retraining of persons who claim unemployment benefits under the National Insurance Unemployment Benefits Scheme.

Under the proposals advanced for the ETF, the NEB would work closely with such persons to identify their developmental needs and collaborate with training and vocational institutions to pursue those requirements.

The NEB, according to the Labour Minister, would also keep track of the progress of persons under going training and liaise with the National Insurance Office to distribute the funds of the ETF.

askeete@barbados.gov.bb

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