Trinidadian farm workers said to be thriving abroad

Hundreds of locals are living and working abroad in Canada

PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — Some 400 farm workers engaged in a work-abroad programme in Canada are said to be faring quite well, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The workers officially started their contracts at the beginning of this year. They can remain employed for up to eight months under the programme.

Seven months in, those workers are still going strong.

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Several other Caribbean countries also have work-abroad programmes for farmers.

In the 10th issue of the ministry’s “Labour Pulse” report, published the first week of July 2023, the government noted: “The Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (CCSAWP) commonly called the Farm Programme, which is facilitated by the Ministry of Labour through its Farm Programme Unit, continues to be a success…

“For the period January to present, a total of 404 male and female farm workers gained employment via the Farm Programme.

“These farm workers are currently engaged in cultivating and harvesting fruit and vegetable crops while gaining deeper practical and technical knowledge of different farming techniques.

“In addition to the enhancement of their skills, these farm workers earn a living to support themselves and provide for their families.”

The report explained that the programme first began in 1967, and has since continued to provide lucrative overseas temporary job opportunities to Trinidadians.

However, it emphasized that the programme has evolved since it was first introduced.

“The Farm Programme temporarily employs nationals from Trinidad and Tobago on farms in the Provinces of Alberta and Ontario, Canada,” the report noted.

“Its terms and conditions have been developed, reviewed and improved to ensure that decent work principles are maintained and upheld and to ensure that workers continue to have placement opportunities on farms in Canada.”

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    Work abroad opportunities for Caribbean residents

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    Caribbean workers are being recruited to work overseas in hospitality, food & beverage and even healthcare.

    Similar programmes that help natives live and work abroad are common throughout the Caribbean region.

    In recent years, especially during labour challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been even more foreign employers looking to hire Caribbean talent than usual.

    Such opportunities are not just limited to agriculture but can also span food & beverage, hospitality and even healthcare.

    Over the past year alone, workers from Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada and more have been posted to temporary jobs in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

    Caribbean jobseekers interested in work-abroad opportunities are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled to the Caribbean Employment Services Inc. job board, where we often post exclusive job openings overseas for Caribbean workers.

    Find the latest jobs in the Caribbean via Caribbean Employment Services Inc.

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