Guest Worker Program, H-2A

US Agricultural Jobs Available for Bajans

From Caribbean360.com, 5 May 2011.

Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo noted that even though Barbadians were interested in working in a range of occupations, many were still keen to work in the agriculture industry. (File photo)

Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo noted that even though Barbadians were interested in working in a range of occupations, many were still keen to work in the agriculture industry. (File photo)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday May 5, 2011 – Barbadians interested in securing work in the agriculture industry in the United States will have a chance to do that as recruiters visit the island in search of hundreds of workers.

Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo met yesterday with Executive Director of Florida East Coast Travel Services, Joseph Hobbs, and his colleague Perry Wells, who are in Barbados looking for prospective workers for the H2A (Agriculture) Programme.

Dr. Byer Suckoo said the recruiters were looking for 200 to 300 Barbadian men between the ages of 21 and 40 to pick apples and vegetables along the east coast of the USA, from Virginia to Maine until November.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity. It is not a new programme to Barbados as one of the recruiters said he was here in the 80s and 90s and [I know that] many Barbadians were able to make a living for their family through it,” she said.

The Labour Minister noted that even though Barbadians were interested in working in a range of occupations, many were still keen to work in the agriculture industry.

Dr. Byer Suckoo admitted that there were some administrative challenges with the programme, but said those were currently being addressed.

The Minister explained that the US Department of Homeland Security had been scrutinising the migrant labour programme to ensure that it was conforming to federal regulations and international standards.

“We will make sure we comply with regulations set out before us and we will do what we have to do…We looked at what was required of us in this programme and we will endeavour to do things the right way and through the right channels,” she promised.

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Source: Caribbean360.com, “US agricultural jobs available for Bajans” 5 May 2011.

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