Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo??

Workers about to travel to Canada and the United States on the Ministry of Labour’s External Employment Programme have been urged to be ambassadors for their country and to ensure that their attitudes and work ethic "are in check".

Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who issued these words of advice, told the gathering that the "best advertisement for the Barbados worker overseas is you".

She made the comments today while addressing the Annual Review Meeting on the occasion of the Low-Skilled, Canada and the H2-B Non-Agricultural Programme, U.S.A., at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Dr. Byer Suckoo told the participants that their ultimate goal when they left this island was to carry the Barbados flag with pride and honour.?? She further added that loyalty to one’s place of work, punctuality, respect, honesty, reliability and hard work guaranteed success on the job.

Dr. Byer Suckoo disclosed that 2011 represented an exciting year for the Ministry of Labour as far as the External Employment Programme was concerned.

"We are exploring the varied products which the travel and tourism industry has to offer and we are taking advantage of maritime career opportunities to improve the employment prospects of Barbadians.?? In the midst of the economic downturn and high unemployment rates, this represents a viable option for young people entering the job market," she said.

Explaining that the hotel programme in Canada was showing improvement in its numbers,Dr. Byer Suckoo pointed out that Taboo Resorts, which had been recruiting Barbadian workers since 2003 was, on board again and would be placing some 25 persons from these shores.?? The Minister also announced that two new resorts – JW Marriot Luxury Hotel located east of Muskoka would be recruiting 69 workers, while Fern Resorts, in Orillia, Canada would be employing five persons.

Stating that the H2-B programme had been having its fair share of challenges in recent times with immigration difficulties, she noted this prevented Barbados from participating in the programme last year.?? The Labour Minister further said the issue had been resolved and Barbados was once again eligible to participat, but not without some hurdles.

"The US Authorities have recently decided that the employer is responsible for the visa and air transportation costs of employees.?? Understandably, this greatly increases the employers’ overhead costs which have implications for hiring employees outside of the USA," Dr. Byer Suckoo explained.

She also revealed that the growth in cruise tourism represented an excellent opportunity for Barbadians to be employed on cruise liners plying Barbadian waters.

"Jobs on board cruise ships encompass a wide range of areas, such as hospitality workers, deck hands, plumbers, welders, electricians, carpenters and aestheticians.?? We are fully exploiting these promising new career opportunities and shortly expect to sign agreements with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for the hire of Barbadian workers," the Labour Minister indicated.??

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