Belizeans flood employment opportunities for Canada
For two days, long lines of unemployed persons formed at the Radisson hoping to get jobs in the Canadian market. The process has been expeditious and after interviews and short listing, by the end of this afternoon, many received good news that they will be among the two hundred persons heading to Canada next January. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
Dozens of Belizeans, a majority of whom are currently unemployed, converged on the Radisson this morning where they filled out an array of job applications by prospective employers in Canada. It is day two of a recruiting exercise being conducted by the Acytl Group. The company, along with its international partners, is here to hire well educated, experienced candidates to fill the existing labor shortage in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Applying for a job is Moses Sulph, erstwhile president of COLA. He’s been out of work since being terminated from the public service over a year ago.
Moses Sulph, Job Applicant
“I need to work. This is clearly showing me that there are many Belizeans who want jobs but they cannot find jobs here in Belize and I’ve been saying this for numerous amount of months now to the government that they need to create jobs and they are saying, basically, that there’s a lot of chatter that our people are lazy. I, as every other person, want the opportunity to be able to provide for my family and for myself and if this is an opportunity to where I can go and work and save some money and come back, I can only not also help my immediate family but help those whom I have been trying to help in the society without having to be calling on the government to do it because it is clear that they have no interest in providing jobs for anyone except for their friends and their families.”
Here to provide much needed employment opportunities for young Belizeans is Dr. Linda West. She is the president of the Actyl Group.
Dr. Linda West, President, Actyl Group Inc.
“Canada is now short of employees in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and so we’re down [here] recruiting for fast food chains and for many, many trades. At this stage we hope to bring home about a hundred and fifty to two hundred [employees]. People will start coming up until maybe March or April, starting in January to March or April.”
“What are the accommodations and logistics in order to get these people across to Canada?”
Dr. Linda West
“Yeah, so the recruitment tour is completely free. Nobody’s paying for anything today except for the employers and the flights are free and we set up the accommodations. They do pay rent but there are safe, clean accommodations to come to and then people can choose to move if they want to.”
“For me it’s even more difficult to find job here in the country because, according to a lot of people, I’m too outspoken and they don’t want to hire me even though I’m very qualified. I am an honest person, I am a credible person; however, what happens is [that] some of these people don’t want to hire you because they are afraid that because the government is not happy with you that they might take away some of their businesses or something. So there’s a lot of trickle [down] effect.”
Dr. Linda West
“I’ve met lots and lots of [people], three hundred and forty-seven people I think I interviewed yesterday and everybody is so friendly. It’s so wonderful down here.”
“So I am assuming that it’s up to the different employers and the different companies that are going to do their short listing and correspond with these people who have interviewed with you?”
“Yes. So I shortlist, so you’re seeing secondary interviews happening right now with candidates. So somebody’s actually phoning in from Canada and interviewing for a second time so they take my shortlist and then they actually select and hire. There will be people hired today.”
Among the companies looking for potential employees is McDonald’s, the global fast food juggernaut. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.