Attention Barbados Chief Immigration Officer: Objection to granting of work permit for Super Centre

by Robert D. Lucas

Recently, on the call-in program “Down to Brass Tacks” of 11th February 2011, there was some discussion about the merits of an application for a work permit for a “Fresh Food Specialist,” as advertised for by Super Centre Limited. As a result, someone from the firm called the program, to clarify the nature of the requirements for the job. These requirements included a knowledge of fresh as well as delicatessen food handling capabilities.

Let me first of all, declare an interest, having in the past, taught members of the Environmental Health Department (EHD) of the Ministry of Health at the Barbados Community College (BCC). Students are first required to do an associate degree in public health and then the post graduate diploma in a programme called “Meats and other Foods.”

The curriculum for Meats and other Foods is as follows:  meat inspection, poultry inspection, fruits and vegetables, cereals and grains, science of red and white meats, milk and fish technology, hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) programs, environmental microbiology, management, organic chemistry and food chemistry. In addition, sampling acceptance of foods by attributes is also taught. Under fruits and vegetables, the students are taught the biochemistry of the ripening process with emphasis placed on the role of ethylene. The classification of fruits as climacteric and non-climacteric (the former undergoing color changes). The storage of fruits and vegetables by modified atmospheric packaging or controlled atmospheric storage and the calculation of refrigeration load during chill and frozen storage.

Under HACCP, the students are exposed to current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), current good agricultural practices (cGAP), sanitary standard operating procedures (SSOP), chemical and pesticide agent control program, pest control, allergen control, chemical and microbial risk assessment and food recall programs.

The advertisement which appeared in the newspaper of February 11, 2011 claimed that no suitable applications were received. I checked with some of my past students to get some feedback. It appeared that most had not seen the original advertisement and those who had, wondered what was meant by a “Fresh Food Specialist.” There was also some reticence about leaving a perceived safe government job for one in the private industry. I also discovered that a couple of them were not working in EHD, one was  actually teaching.

In the past, I have noticed many applications for work permits in which the job title and requirements are obfuscated.  I have  a problem with this. Barbadians, especially under the current economic conditions, should have first choice when jobs are being advertised. As can be seen from what I have outlined above, a student doing the above program is more than capable of handling the post of “Fresh food Specialist” as advertised. I am therefore, lodging an objection to the granting of a work permit today, to the Chief Immigration officer.


Robert D. Lucas, PH.D.

Food Biotechnologist.


Filed under Agriculture, Health, Immigration

11 responses to “Attention Barbados Chief Immigration Officer: Objection to granting of work permit for Super Centre

  1. watcher


    well said and well done. you are 100% right on

  2. yatinkiteasy

    I`m opening a restaurant soon, and will advertise for the post of “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer”…since there will be no qualified applicants, I have my eye on a good looking Russian girl of about 18, who is dying to live and work down here!

  3. bajandave

    Based on everything you said, people with those qualifications can be found right here. Maybe a Trini is lined up for the post given the new ownership of this supermarket chain’s parent company.

  4. Johnny Postle

    The problem is that many local companies in Barbados do not have any confidence in our so called local expertise. Though I do not dispute that the students from BCC Meat and other foods are not trained and probably well trained, however what I am concerned about is how much of that training has engaged the use of appropriate equipment and further research into their areas of expertise. Plus many of the students lack the ability to apply their learning to every day situations. The subjects you called sound quite impressive but how much practical is involved to help the students acquire the necessar skills and practical know how their need.

  5. marlo Ray

    this foolishness has been going on far too long. The present government came in on a mandate of ‘change’ and has done absolutely nothing to change anything. Thank you Dr Lucas.

  6. bajeabroad

    Dr Lucas PLEASE send a copy of your letter to the chief immigration officer!!! PLEASE….this fooloshness must stop!!

  7. bajeabroad

    Here is the email address

  8. j

    love the word “obfuscated” and yes seen many obfuscated positions advertised in the past in the press…………………………

  9. J. Payne

    @marlo Ray. I keeping my own personal score card and this administration is blaming everything on the economy as to why they haven’t finished their agenda. The ONLY things completed (or in train) which I can think of (as promised) are: the constituency councils, bus fares, reconstruction at L.E. Sandiford Centre, youth empowerment and reconfiguration of the constituencies. As far as I’ve heard: there’s been no Freedom of Information legislation, no reform (yet) of the immigration law, no movement on the dispute with Al Barrack, no renovation of the Empire theatre (which I questioned anyway due of its small- size), and development of Pickering Town. Which should have been marketed as something better anyway. Either a special technology and innovation park or as one of the region’s first totally environmentally friendly towns from the ground up.

  10. i overstayed in Barbados for over 1 year and i just want to know if i can go back to Barbados?

  11. Well Well

    super centre did get their fresh food specialist, you can complain but in the end it matters not