|A section of the audience at the local review meeting. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
The Barbados Government intends to double its efforts to secure more employment for residents of this country to work in Canada as part of the Overseas Work Programme offered by the National Employment Bureau (NEB).
Pointing to the increasing economic growth in Canadian provinces such as Alberta and British Columbia, Barbados’ Consul General in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Leroy McClean said, "Research shows that these regions of Canada where we have not traditionally focused our attention, are ripe with job opportunities for temporary migrant workers, therefore, we need to be able to exploit these prospects and translate them into hundreds of jobs for our citizens."
He was speaking at the Local Annual Review Meeting of the Canadian Farm Labour Programme earlier this week at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
"Our investigations show that there is not only a demand for farm and hotel workers but there are opportunities in the oil and gas industry, in construction and also in restaurants and fast food services, and we intend to tap into these areas as quickly as possible," Dr. McClean said.
Explaining that the two Liaison Service Officers in Canada were working assiduously to break into those markets, he noted that they had also been promoting Barbadian workers at an agricultural trade show in British Columbia.
"Our numbers have fallen to a total of 169 persons travelling to Canada to work in this programme in 2011, but, I am heartened to say that this total includes five males who journeyed to work as far as British Columbia, where we were able to send workers for the first time last year," Dr. McClean remarked, adding, "By all reports, [this] new employer was extremely pleased with the performance of the five, and will again be requesting some of them to work with him in 2012."??
Disclosing that a strategic plan for "healthy expansion" was being prepared, the Consul General affirmed that the Ministry of Labour would soon be inviting tenders for a consultancy to inform the institutional strengthening of the NEB.
"The successful team of consultants will critically examine the current role and function of the Bureau, develop measures to re-tool and re-invigorate NEB administratively, formulate a marketing plan to rebrand the Bureau’s image and recommend the creation of a comprehensive, information and communications technology framework to sustain the strategies to be implemented," Dr. McClean revealed.
Noting that the input of all stakeholders would be obtained, he stressed that this was necessary "to see how best we can identify, achieve and maintain the success of the overseas programmes serviced by the National Employment Bureau."??