Jamaica-Canada employment programme pumps millions into local economy

Go Lean Commentary

“Where there is no vision the people perish” – Bible Quotation (Proverbs 29:18) posted in the book Go Lean … Caribbean (Page 125).

It is the assessment of this commentary that Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier in the subsequent news article, is probably a man of goodwill. He only hopes to help his country and his people; he simply wants to fight for any opportunity. But this man is bringing “a knife to a gun fight”. As a result, his constituents suffer.

This is the assertion of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, and many aligned blog submissions, that the problems facing the Caribbean are too big for one member-state alone to address; there needs to be a regional solution. This book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU).

The Good Minister, in the following news article, is not advocating for a regional solution, only trying to facilitate another 7,952 low-skill, low-wage jobs for Jamaicans in 2015. The Go Lean roadmap on the other hand, strives to create 2.2 million new jobs, many in the highly paid, highly coveted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) category. The news article is listed here:

By: Alecia Smith-Edwards

CU Blog - Jamaica-Canada employment programme pumps millions into local economy - Photo 1KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Remittance inflows from the Jamaica-Canada employment programme contributed Cdn$15.5 million (approximately JA$1.7 billion) to the Jamaican economy during 2014.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, who noted that the programme, which is a vital source of foreign exchange remittances, “continues to be a beacon of hope and opportunity for thousands of Jamaicans.”

The minister was speaking at a send-off ceremony for the first batch of farm workers for 2015 under the ministry’s overseas employment programme in Kingston on Monday.

Kellier further noted that, during 2014, approximately 7,952 Jamaicans benefitted from employment opportunities in Canada.

“The farm work component accounted for 90 percent (7,156) of this number, while the others travelled under the low skill and skilled worker programmes,” he said.
A total of 340 workers, selected under the Canadian seasonal agricultural workers programme, were due to depart the island on Monday to take up employment opportunities on various farms in Ontario, Canada.
This batch of all males, most of whom will do eight-month stints, will be employed in greenhouse crop production, food processing, tobacco plants as well as nurseries which are involved in the cultivation of various vegetables. They will also be engaged in packaging tobacco and fruits for shipment.

The minister noted that 20 percent of the workers are new employees, while the remaining 80 percent are ‘returnees’ or requested workers, noting that “this is a testament to the hard and dedicated work provided by Jamaican workers abroad.”

He implored the new cohort to continue being professional while on the job, so that the programme can be expanded to provide opportunities for more unemployed Jamaicans.

“I am urging you too, to observe regulations as much as possible for your safety and health. I advise you all not to breach rules (such as absence without leave), which will disqualify you and other Jamaicans in the future,” he said.

The minister reminded the workers that the Overseas Employment Family Services Unit will continue to focus on the welfare of their families through a range of social interventions, including household visits, referrals for assistance, care for the sick and injured, care of children and self-empowerment programmes.
Caribbean News Now – Regional News Source (Retrieved 01/08/2015) –

Jamaica has one of the highest rates of societal abandonment in the Caribbean. In a previous blog commentary, it was revealed that the Caribbean loses more than 70 percent of the tertiary educated to brain drain, but Jamaica’s rate is at 85%; (plus 35% of the secondary educated population leaves). This Foreign Guest Worker program, in the foregoing article, seems to be a “double down” on the itinerant Jamaican strategy. Imagine the analogy of a teenage runaway leaving his family behind; then when the parents finally discover that prodigal’s son’s whereabouts, they send another child to join them, rather than encourage a return home and a plea to prosper and be planted at home. The people of Jamaica deserves better.

As revealed in the foregoing article, the Government of Jamaica is counting on the short-term benefits, the remittances of these guest workers back to the homeland; they seem unaware and unconcerned for the mid-term and long-term well-being of Jamaica and Jamaicans. The fears and threats is that Guest Workers will mix-and-mingle with people in the host countries, establish new personal-family ties and relocate permanently, as legal migrants. In addition, there should be the concern that pregnant spouses left behind would travel to visit their husbands, just in time to give birthin Canada, availing the birth-right privileges of that country. Just that easily, one family’s next generation would not be Jamaica-based, but pursue a life in the Diaspora community instead, “fattening frogs for snake”.

The Caribbean Diaspora amounts to 10 million people, compared to 42 million residents in the region; Jamaica population is listed at 2,825,928 people (2010), but their Diaspora is estimated at follows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaican_diaspora):

US:          740,000
Canada: 257,000
UK:         800,000
Total:    1,797,000

In addition, there is a report that there are 100,000 illegal Jamaicans in the US alone.

Legal or not legal, a great measurement of the economic activity of this diasporic population is their remittance activity. A previous blog reported that Jamaica has been experiencing 5.3% annual growth rate in the amount of remittances transferred to the island.

Change has come to the region! The forgoing article describes a negative ethos that the new Caribbean planners want to break from.

The Go Lean book describes that the CU will assume the role and responsibility to empower the regional economy and facilitate trade, not just “count the money” in remittance activity. The following 3 prime directives are explored in full details in the roadmap:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

A mission of the CU is to minimize the need for the Caribbean labor force to migrate to foreign lands for work; and also to invite those that have left, the Diaspora, to repatriate. The Go Lean roadmap features a methodical implementation over a 5 year period, to create more and more local jobs.

Consider the employers described in the foregoing article. They need Guest Workers to facilitate their winter agricultural expressions: greenhouses and incubators. The Go Lean roadmap calls for expanding agricultural production in the Caribbean region – winter crops are opportunistic in their marketability – then exporting the produce to markets like Canada, utilizing strategic concepts for frozen food industries like refrigerated warehouses and refrigerated containers (reefers). Those Canadian stakeholders can be Direct Foreign Investors in the region rather than employers. This approach is better! We still profit more from trade, but keep our human capital at home. This is a win-win.

This sample business model reflects the technocratic approaches being advocated in the roadmap, from top to bottom. This commences with the recognition that all the Caribbean has defective business models, underemployment, and suffering on the wrong side of the globalization divide (producers versus consumers). These acknowledgements are pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence, (Page 13 & 14). The statements are included as follows:

xix.  Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xx.  Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

xxi.  Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxv.  Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like … frozen foods…  In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing … – impacting the region with more jobs.

xxx.  Whereas the effects of globalization can be felt in every aspect of Caribbean life, from the acquisition of food and clothing, to the ubiquity of ICT, the region cannot only consume, it is imperative that our lands also produce and add to the international community, even if doing so requires some sacrifice and subsidy.

The message now being trumpeted to the Cabinet Member in the foregoing article: No more migrant culture! Already, a new Jamaican – American sub-culture has emerged and is now thriving; see Appendix for a sample of “Jamerican” music. (Once the “genie leaves the bottle”, there is no returning; the “Jamerican” legacies, though appreciative of their Jamaican influences, will perhaps never take up residence in Jamaica).

We want solutions built around staying home, not “renting” our young men to foreign shores. This is a vision for all the Caribbean to embrace, not just Jamaica; it entails confederating the 30 member-states into an integrated “single market”, thereby fostering economic growth to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion (from the 2010 base of $378 Billion). This growth would be the cause-and-effect of 2.2 million new jobs. The following list details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies necessary to effectuate these empowerments for the region to graduate from this migrant culture, described in the foregoing article:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Voluntary Trade Creates Local Wealth Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Strategic – Vision – Integrated Region in a   Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Vision – Encourage Repatriation of   the Diaspora Page 46
Strategic – Vision – Agents of Change Page 57
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing to $800 Billion Regional Economy Page 67
Tactical – Separation of Powers Page 71
Tactical – Interstate Commerce Admin – Econometrics Data Analysis Page 79
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Lessons Learned from 2008 Page 136
Planning – Ways to Measure Progress Page 147
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs – Feed Ourselves Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Foreign Exchange Page 154
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Food Consumption – Agri-Business Page 162
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Leadership Page 171
Advocacy – Ways to Develop a Frozen Food Industry Page 208
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Appendix – Job Multipliers Page 259
Appendix – Trade SHIELD – “Strategic“ planning & “Logistical” solutions Page 264

The people of the Caribbean deserve every opportunity to prosper where they are planted. If this is to be the quest, then the region’s leadership should lean-in to this roadmap. One person can make a difference; this fact has been demonstrated time and again. The Go Lean book provides the step-by-step instructions on how to move Caribbean society from the status quo to the desired destination: a better place to live, work and play.

The Go Lean roadmap calls for both “Top-Down” (leadership) and “Bottoms-Up” (popular) movements to effectuate this change. We need better leadership, yes. We also want the people, the common men and women on the streets to demand this change. They do not have to sit and watch their loved one leave their beloved homeland to make a living abroad. We can all prosper right here at home.

No more! Let’s change this culture. This means you Jamaica, and the rest of the Caribbean region.

Now is the time for all of the region, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the empowerments of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. Now is the time for this viable plan to make our homeland the best address in the world.  🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix: Reflection of the New Jamaican Diaspora Culture –  http://youtu.be/t4iRnETnmtw – Born Jamericans – Wherever We Go


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  • Sharon Johnson says:

    Wow!! Loved this blog. At one point I felt a bit embarrassed for some strange reason. I will be working on getting this information to be seen by not only my colleagues but by others who hold position to expedite the road map.
    I personally know few farm workers and what is said here is correct 100%.
    Thanks for sharing and helping to make a change.

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