Government has announced plans to revamp the selection process for the Canadian Seasonal Farm Programme, according to Minister of Youth and Sports, Roland Bhola.
Speaking at the weekly post -Cabinet Press Briefing last week Tuesday at the Ministerial Complex, the Minister said that a five member panel has been set up to take charge instead of relying on one individual from the Ministry of Labour to handle the process.
He said the objective is to achieve a more transparent selection process for persons applying for the Seasonal Farm labour programme in Canada.
“As it was before, people would apply and there was one individual within the Ministry of Labour that would have done the selection of the people that may make it to that programme. Now that will be changed, there will be three public servants and two community based personnel…”, he said.
“That team would be whom you would have to now send your applications to, they will do the selection. So it’s not left to one individual to determine but a team of five. Applications would be invited, they will then determine after interviews and so on (who will be selected),” he said.
The move comes against the backdrop of moves to expand the programme, with a visit last week to the island of one Canadian farmer who expressed the desire to hire more Grenadian Labour.
Minister Bhola said that young people exiting the government-sponsored Imani Programme can now take advantage of an opportunity to seek short-term employment in Canada with the farm labour programme.
He recalled that government has given instructions to the Grenada Mission in Canada to work with the farming community to ensure that more opportunities are provided for locals on the Farm Labour programme.
“There are about 60 or so Grenadians who are engaged in that programme. We are hoping that we can double or triple it, not just by the work we will be doing here in Grenada but also because there is someone attached to the Mission now in Canada”, he said.
“The Mission has specific responsibility for meeting with and engaging the owners of the farms out there and ensuring that they can get more placing for us in Grenada,” he added.
The senior government minister pointed out that Cabinet is desirous of having interested persons from the rural parts of the country to sign onto the programme as it is believed that people from this part of the island are “more acquainted to the hard work on the (Canadian) farm”.