If everything goes according to plan, Barbadian workers could soon find employment on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
This disclosure has come from Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said Barbados would enter into formal agreements with those cruise lines shortly. She made the comments today while addressing the National Employment Bureau’s Local Annual Review Meeting of the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Programme at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Dr. Byer Suckoo told the large gathering of farm labour workers: "In the midst of economic downturn and high unemployment rates, the maritime industry represents a viable option for young people entering the job market. Jobs on board cruise ships encompass a wide range of areas such as hospitality workers, deckhands, plumbers, welders, electricians, carpenters and aesthetics. The Ministry of Labour is optimistic about these beckoning opportunities. The future looks bright."
The Minister further disclosed that Barbados was back on the list of the United States of America’s H2A programme which accommodates seasonal agricultural workers and the H2B programme for those who work in the hospitality industry. She added that there was a lot of expansion in the province of Alberta and the City of Vancouver and Barbados was setting the stage to ensure it took advantage of those opportunities.????
She pointed out that at last year’s Caribbean review meeting in Grenada, the Barbados delegation raised the matter of the timely remittance of compulsory savings of the workers, deducted by the employers, and sent to the Liaison offices. She told the workers: "You have been complaining about the delay in receiving your compulsory savings when you return home. We wanted this matter to be addressed and the employers to be cognisant of this and make a greater effort to carry out the necessary accounting activity to ensure that the savings and corresponding pay sheets are submitted in a timely manner to the Liaison Service.
"The Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Services (FARMS) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada have to take note of our concern. ??FARMS has indicated that it will encourage its members to deal with the matter expeditiously and the Director of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has stated that he will review the existing contract to determine if changes can be made to ensure that employers submit the compulsory savings in a timely manner."
Dr. Byer Suckoo said the Canadian Farm Labour Programme, now in its 45th year, has been extremely important to this island. ??According to her, it had provided a built-in social and economic safety net for the workers and their families, while guaranteeing access to disposable income.
She urged the workers to be ambassadors for their country and always ensure that their attitude and work ethic were impeccable.??