Canadian-based work programme open to nationals

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By Robert A. Emmanuel

Antiguans and Barbudans who are primarily interested in the agricultural industry could soon receive training from a temporary work programme in Canada.

The Eastern Caribbean Liaison Service (ECLS), according to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), was “a unit of the OECS Commission established to administer OECS Member States’ interests in the Canada/Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (SAWP) in Canada.”

Until recently, Antigua and Barbuda was the only sub-regional country not to have participated in the programme. However, during a press briefing following the 67th meeting of the OECS Authority, Chairman of the OECS Authority and Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that it was his intention to do so.

“Now, Antigua and Barbuda traditionally has not participated in this programme but we have signalled our intention to avail Antiguans and Barbudans of the opportunity to become involved in the programme,” he said.

He added that it was his belief that participation in the temporary work programme will benefit the country in “terms of earnings but there would be a transfer of technology, especially within the agricultural sector”.

Browne noted that the programme would help nationals, especially the youth, to develop their enterprising spirit and to diversify the agricultural sector, saying: “It will give us eventually a large cadre of agricultural entrepreneurs in order to develop our domestic industry.”

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