Changes coming to the way Jamaica’s work permits are granted

444
Labour and Social Security Minister, Karl Samuda and University of Technology’s President, Professor Colin Gyles

KINGSTON, Jamaica—Minister of Labour and Social Security, Karl Samuda, says that changes will be coming to the way work permits are granted by his ministry.

Samuda made the announcement while speaking during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the ministry through its Labour Market Information System and the University of Technology. The minister said that his aim will be “safeguarding the jobs available in the Jamaican labour force for Jamaicans.”

“We should not be importing labour to do things here when we have the skills available in Jamaica. Instead, we should be exporting labour, we should be providing skills appropriate to meet the international world,” he said. Samuda said that the issuing of work permits by the ministry will not be “business as usual” and changes have already been made to intensify the process by which work permits are being assessed prior to him granting approval.

“The business of handing out work permits will not be an automatic system. It will be carefully examined to determine if the job that is being requested can be filled here in Jamaica,” he said.

“We are being flooded with applications for work permits for jobs that I am certain that the University of Technology is training Jamaicans to do. What we need to do is accelerate the pace at which we train young people to fill vacancies that exist in Jamaica,” he added.