Permit numbers reach near 25,000

| 14/08/2017 | 173 Comments

(CNS): The most recent figures released by the Department of Immigration reveal that 24,880 people in the Cayman Islands are holding jobs on work permits. The latest list of permits issued to employers shows that the tourism, financial services and construction sectors are still leading the growing demand for overseas workers, generating literally thousands of jobs, few of which are being held by local people. The list shows groups of permits given to employers and, although it is challenging to work out the exact number of jobs being created and held by overseas employees in the tourism industry, it is evident that wait staff, servers and food-and-beverage workers make up a significant percentage of permit holders.

An analysis of the June 2017 list reveals that food-and-beverage workers, servers and wait staff under their various different descriptions account for around 10% of all permits, and this is the type of work many locals believe should be going to young Caymanians. This has led to constant concerns that locals appear not only to be missing out on the work but also their lack of participation is undermining the whole sector.

As worries in the local community grow over the number of permits being issued while unemployment remains a factor among Caymanians, bosses also complain about bureaucracy and cost of permits. While these arguments are not easy to reconcile, Premier Alden McLaughlin has promised that this administration will be focusing on these issues, with big plans to remove labour from the immigration department and merge the permit-application process into a new national human resource agency.

During the previous administration and on the campaign trial, McLaughlin spoke about the changes in attitude towards training of many bosses over the years, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, and their growing demands for permits for employees that they consider ‘exact fits’ for vacancies, rather than accepting the need to train local workers to match the available jobs.

The list demonstrates that where permits may once have been mostly for specialist highly skilled workers or for very low-paid jobs such as gardeners and domestic workers, they now cover every imaginable role. This situation supports the allegation that bosses are turning to permit holders before locals, and that the administrative process, despite the interface created between the boards making permit decisions, does not appear to be picking up the cases where local people are available.

See the latest work-permit statistics from the Immigration Department in the CNS Library

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Category: Immigration

Comments (173)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You see, the hard truth is, a lot of Caymanians are lazy and unreliable. When I first came here to live we were regularly in the old Holiday Inn restaurant on a Sunday. It was unbelievable and regular to see that a bunch of employed Caymanians were bunched up in the corner chatting and laughing whilst paying customers were waiting Service. It was so annoying! This you would never see in the UK. They would be reprimanded and fired immediately. If you approached them they would hiss between their teeth and drag their feet as they walked by. They wouldn’t last 5 minutes in any other country. They think that they were doing us a favour, not the likes of us keeping their companies afloat and them in gainful employment. Expats come here to actually WORK. They do not come here for the sunshine alone. They are vetted by companies prior to being granted work permits and educated to a certain standard that meets the job criteria they are applying for. Nothing is handed on a plate to any expat. Jobs have to be advertised for 2wks in your local paper (unless it’s changed) to give Caymanians the opportunity to apply prior to overseas personnel being interviewed for the post. If Caymanians are not up to the required standard then the job offer goes to expats. So, you need to up your game if you want to “eradicate” as you say, the expats that are allegedly taking your jobs. There are a huge amount of highly intelligent Caymanians currently in posts who have a vast amount of credibility in fairness, and who I take my hat off to. My advice is to knuckle down in school and follow in their footsteps. There is no such thing as a free lunch in this life. You have to start at the bottom people and work your way through the ranks. Educate yourselves!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      But you cannot start at the bottom if you have to compete for entry level positions with degree holding 30 year old foreign nationals, and your own government exempts their employers from even having to advertise for the position.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Any excuse not to do something. How about finding a reason to do something?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Well, 1.46pm I have great sympathy for you all but it’s the same world over. Employers will always take on the higher educated applicant. However, you must sell yourself on interview because that goes a long way. Show them your enthusiasm, your qualities and that you have drive and not afraid of hard work. Nitvsurecifcyou have a programme in Cayman like the UK but we have lessons set up for the unemployed of how to conduct yourself in interviews and how to correctly write a CV. This will help the recent school leaver in securing employment. No one expects to get the first job they apply for. You have to perservere. Maybe offering the firm to allow you to do work experience on a voluntarily basis for a month. That is a good way to show enthusiasm to the employer. Unless you really are useless very few employers will not offer you a job at the end.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well Anon 4:36 pm….Nitvsurecifcyou to you too.
          You have not been around Cayman since the Holiday Inn was here and you assume to speak to all of Cayman youth seeking employment in their own country?

    • Nunya says:

      WOW – way to stereotype, and you are using examples from the 90s? I’m the first one to admit that there are lazy Caymanians and they are giving all of us a bad name. But you can’t paint us all with one brush – yes you complemented a few of us at the end there but mostly perpetuated the stereotype. So what of the stereotype that British people are rude or have bad teeth? Is that you? I happen to know many who are not.

      We sit here an cyber-bully each other, saying things you’d most likely never say to the face of individuals of that culture as you so bravely declared your stance under the name Anonymous. Why can’t we see this as a problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what caymanians should admit, quite a percentage of them are unrealiable and lazy. Why blame the expat being employed in this country? Each of us was given the opportunity- isn’t being local gives you more advantage being hired? Why expat got the job?.. Question the people who hired them and had them penalize if proven there’s anomaly. I can say most of expat in Cayman set foot clean. And let’s be honest, your reputation leaves you in the corner. We all have self interest, as an expat who is not welcome in such country, what would you expect? Cheap labor shouldn’t be the question, expat had to sacrifice a lot of things too rather than to be unemployed. Relocating in Cayman is one of them. If you can’t stop telling us to leave Cayman, we won’t be tired looking the same with your kinds. we do not owe you or Cayman anything anyway, if you think we do, leave your personal argument and file a suit against us or the system.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So Caymanians have to leave and be an Expat in someone else’s country as in many cases compensations as an “expat” is better than what they can get in their own country. You would be surprised how many companies still provide extra perks for Expats on a work permit, such as housing allowance, cars, school fees for their kids, yearly flights home etc etc. Obviously those things are not disclosed in the local job ads. So you have no choice and live the Expat life elsewhere so that the locals there then complain about how come they don’t get the same pay and benefits as those on work permits………..And round and round it goes….Crazy!

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  3. Michael says:

    There is an important issue existing which nobody ever seems to address. It is this :-
    If we can assume that anyone working in Cayman should be able to aspire to own a piece of land and / or a home, then I submit that the low wages predominantly paid to work permit holders will never allow this, although the work permit holders can send their money back home where it has useful value, and buy land and build mansions while they earn C.I. dollars. I have seen this achieved by permit holders in just three years of earning CID $5.50 per hour. That is why they are here. But the question is this, do we expect Caymanians to work for this $5.50 or whatever per hour, when they will never ever be able to achieve home ownership in their own country? The answer is NO they will not. If you want to correct this injustice, then bite the bullet and implement a decent minimum wage policy that will motivate Caymanians to get going and fill the many jobs in the service sector that are monopolised by work permit holders. The main problem is that the Caymanian businesses that thrive heartily on the cheap work permit labour, will howl like stuck pigs, and give the Govt. bold enough to do it, holy hell.

    Cayman needs to make a bold decision and go for the minimum wage option, otherwise the work permit problem will never ever go away. It will simply be the perpetual “can kicked down the road”. Cayman has no monopoly on this problem. It exists all over the world and is called “the global economy”, but tell that to unemployed Caymanians and possibly get a conch shell in your face!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The reason Caymanians cannot get on the property ladder is not just because of the low minimum wage, it’s the fact that the cost of living in Cayman is sky high!! The minimum wage in the UK is around £7.40 per hour. If one wants to earn a substantial salary in order to get on in life, one must stop having children at 15 years of age with no husband to support them, study in school instead of hanging around with the wrong sort, and make something worthwhile of your life. You haven’t got to have wealthy parents to educate yourself. Everyone seems to want to blame someone else for their demise. You are master of your own destiny.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Also the pr requires expats to buy property which is a demand stimulant and leads to higher prices. This PR offers nothing to the working caymanian and is in fact detrimental.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can get an inland lot for very little. This is not holding people back.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree the minimum wage is low compared to the cost of living but almost anywhere in the world 40 hours a week at minimum wage will not get you into home ownership. I would suggest young people getting the minimum wage jobs to gain some experience before leaving their parents house. Presumably after working hard for a year or 2 they should have the experience to command a little better.

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    • Nunya says:

      I get what you are saying but increasing the minimum wage will just benefit the WP holder that are in those jobs. If a Caymanian is not taking a job because the pay is too little, then that is a Caymanian you don’t need to hire. Someone who is interested in working will take the job that pays something and do two jobs if they have to and prove themselves so they can move up and make more.

      Sorry, but I’ve never agreed with this argument as to the reason Caymanian are not being employed. I still maintain they are not even getting the opportunities to begin with. i.e. employers are circumventing the laws using loop holes and our WP approval process is not robust enough to catch it. EVERYONE knows companies place exaggerated ads, tailor made ads, don’t place ads ’til they already have a person for the job, but nothing is done about it. The idea about registering jobs with the NWDA and having to provide a number, will not work because there are obvious loop hole to that process too. Nice idea, I applaud the effort – but not effective in execution.

    • Pride comes before.... says:

      A reason people can’t get on the property ladder is because they have not learnt how to manage their money. I work with young people that have brand new fancy cars on a $400+month car loan, credit cards, ordering in breakfast and lunch daily, flying to Miami frequently for shopping sprees; spending small fortunes on junk but come days before each month end they eating pot noodles and cereal for lunch at work or borrowing from colleagues because they have exceeded their credit card or overdraft and have no cash left for gas or lunch. Or complaining that they have no cash to buy school supplies for their kids.

      Yet I see the security guys riding into work on a bike or catching the bus and bringing in home made lunch everyday. I reckon he has more in the bank than those earning 3x or more his salary.

      Budgeting and spending less than one earns is how to get $$ together for property ownership. Buy a plot of land and trade up from there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow …… only God can help us!!!! I see trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble AND MORE TROUBLE. Cayman is done for.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m just shocked by this number!!! It’s time to stop this BS. CIG stop granting permits to hotel people like it is a hand shake, a Caymanian experienced labor man friend of mine, applied for an “Engineering”, that is the fancy name The Ritz Carlton gives to it’s type of work, and he did not got the job and instead, the job was given to an unexperienced worker that comes all the way from Sri Lanka. Funny fact is that he works at the hotel for a longer period than this guy and on the same position! This is just insane.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Why is not CNS and Compass writing articles about Caymanian owned company’s that still don’t pay pension or insurance? The bars…..all local bars don’t pay pension and insurance.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Caymanian business owners who like to hire indentured slaves for $5/hour, have them paying for their own work permit, no pension, no health insurance (or only bare minimum) and often don’t even have full time jobs for them.

    Companies which are allowed to hire an endless amount of “Temps”. It has gotten so bad, that even a Caymanian wanting a job has to go through a “Temp” Agency where the Agency who is doing literally nothing for the employee is taking a big junk of their salary.

    It is ridiculous – those things need to stop!

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  8. It's Not Rocket Surgery says:

    It is a crying shame that work permits are just printed off the web by unscrupulous foreign workers to the detriment of Caymanians. If only there was some approval process, a review board if you will, where Caymanians, and only Caymanians, could pass or fail each and every permit application.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Those expats are going to work for those companies no matter what. Make it too hard to hire them here and they’ll just hire them somewhere else and pay them somewhere else. And then those expats will live and spend somewhere else. You can’t expect an island with a tiny population and a derelict education system to produce enough top lawyers and accountants to staff even a fraction of an international financial centre.

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    • Anonymous says:

      and yet several very capable Caymanian lawyers have been forced to seek and obtain jobs in other countries because they cannot obtain employment here. I know of one thriving in Bermuda and another in London – and yet a foreign owned law firms in Cayman determined them unsuitable. Something is very very wrong.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This excuse has been washed around from 20-30 years ago. Send your kids overseas to get university degree……….Now that many local kids get university degrees, now they are apparently missing experience or got their degree at the wrong university, bla, bla bla……….There is always some lame excuse. There is absolutely no reason for a college educated Caymanian returning to the Island not to be getting an entry level position anywhere.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Alden your immigration policy has been a travesty and you have given away the country…you don’t have to admit you really screwed up but minimize the damage and reverse your liberal permit and pr policies/regulations.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Alden needs to step up and fix this mess he created or step aside and let someone competent do it. Stop giving away the country…grow some son!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Years ago, the business sector would employee school leavers and train them. Most of those people stayed with the companies for 25 to 35 years and helped to build those companies.

    The companies now, don’t even want to give school leavers a chance!

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    • F. Korporate says:

      All a marketing ploy…if you ain’t got linkedin they prob won’t hire you on the low nowadays too. Sad and Lame.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Immigration dept recently advertised several vacancies – the last line of the advert said ‘punctuality & attendance is essential. You would never see this anywhere outside of cayman!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    And the permits continue to grow…. yet we have many unemployed Caymanians! Oh Mr. Premier and Minister of Immigration & Labour….. we (the Caymanian people who voted you back into office) continue to wait tirelessly on your promised plans to fix this broken system! I am Caymanian… born & raised… and for years governments have failed to decide which is more important…. the millions collected from work permits or ensuring that people are gainfully employed to support themselves, families and our local economy. However, there are many reasons why there is a preference (some personal!) reasons why we continue to import and approve permits. Look at the hospitality industry… too many expats that hold jobs that many Caymanian can do… such as food/beverages servers.
    Oh Mr. Premier….you said that Government would be focusing on social issues and it is obvious that this is one of the biggest! Though in your speech a few weeks at the scranton community meeting Mr. Premier, you said you will be very unpopular over the next year or so due to budget cuts to failed social problems, however you will be most unpopular if you sit in office for the next four years and just talk and make no change. By the way, in case you didn’t realize it…. you weren’t elected to be popular, you and your party were given a second chance (by the skin of your teeth) to correct the failures and mess that you failed to address during the numerous terms PPM held office. So, ‘for the love of country’…. prove that your manifesto and campaign promises were more than just words….

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    • Anonymous says:

      I can tell you as a previous restaurant manager and F & B server for 10 years here that in that time, we only had 2 Caymanians apply for jobs- both of which got the job and are still working at the same restaurants. TWO people!! There is a stigma amongst locals that serving is “beneath” them– how are employers supposed to change that mentality? Don’t you think they would prefer to hire someone who doesn’t cost them a permit fee and can start working immediately? Of course they would… but Caymanians don’t WANT those jobs! You can’t expect to get a job if you don’t go to these places and give a proper resume. F & B serving can be labor intensive but if it’s a busy place, the amount of $$ you can make w/ tips is crrrraaazzzy good! I was able to pay off my student loans w/ my tip money after 2 years in the business!

      It’s a shame that tourism isn’t something that is taught in high school, providing internships at the hotels/restaurants so high school students can get hands on experience in the field. That’s where the problem starts- in the school system! With tourism being one of the primary functions of this island, the fact that we don’t have a Hotel Restaurant Management School here is absolutely insane!!! I know some restaurant big wigs attempted to start one, but it needs to be dealt w/ through government and promoted to all the public schools. I don’t even know if it still exists? If these kids knew how much money could be made by “just being a server” they would embrace it instead of turning their noses up to it!

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      • Anonymous says:

        So stop advertising it at 4.50 an hour plus tips!

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        • P&L says:

          Why? If that’s how the compensation is structured how else would you like it specified? Tips are a wild card but just like in UNO the wildcard is usually a good thing. My server bases were always low when I bartended and waitressed in college…. but the tips… oh the glorious tips… even slow places with low prices you usually can make at least $10-15/hour… get a busy place with higher prices and take home could easily be $100-200/day… what’s not to like?

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          • Anonymous says:

            So say 4.50 an hour base and tips and gratuities (which on average are expected to total 60K a year).

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      • S345 says:

        Well said!! Growing up I wanted to be a Mixologist. From a very early age that idea was quickly stomped out by my family. Back then, being a bartender or cooking for other people was not a career to want to have. I don’t know why but jobs in Tourism/Hospitality has been frowned upon for as long as I can remember. At that time all we had in school was Home Ec. I was told to ‘tryso get an office job that makes good money and you can sit down in a/c’. Heaven forbid we have to sweat lil’ bit. I worked as a bartender at a hotel and met such great people that tipped generously and were somewhat fascinated with the fact that I was Caymanian. I loved being by the sea, coming up with new drinks for guests and the laid back atmosphere. But I had to ‘grow up’ and get a ‘real’ job. Years later, I work in a law firm for lawyers that aren’t very nice most days…but hey…it’s in air conditioning!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many of these permit positions are advertised in local media. CIG need to make it mandatory for permits to be advertised and a posted as such. I know xxxx goes through several individuals to get permits easily and many of these don’t appear in local media nor do they go through the usual vetting process. Some employers seem to have an inside track or back door to permit approval. Again seems like lack of oversight/enforcement or some scullduggery going on.

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    • Anonymous says:

      All grants and renewals must be advertised with the National Workforce Development Agency and advertised in an approved local paper at least twice a year. However I do agree their must be a level of corruption for certain well connected individuals ask your self who are these corrupt people skirting the system? I will give you 1 clue it isn’t the expat work permit holder.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly, it’s their employers. I know as least two public Authorities that have lied on permit applications and the employee was unaware of it. They probably still do it since who checks?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Never seen an advert for a law firm partner, yet lots on work permits. How come?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Then you weren’t looking, I have seen 3 this week already. Convenient to be blind sometimes?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The worst thing is when there is someone lurking in the market who thinks they are “suitably qualified”. Then the firms have to try to wait until someone else has to give them a job before advertising.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because usually partnership comes after progression, growth and grooming and your proven ability to be able to bring in clients and generate lots of revenue. So when it’s time to be promoted to partner they will apply for a waiver of advertisement based on the specificity of why this person is the only person wanted for the post.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is called corruption in other countries.

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    • Anonymous says:

      With the help of at least one particularly slimy recruitment company, they start with short-term, then include that experience as requirement along with obscure system knowledge or skills in the eventual advertisement… which they run on Monday or Tuesday with huge salary scale…they will guarantee bonus if they end up having to pay lower salary to eventual permit holder.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Immigration has the job of checking that, unless you are saying they don’t do their job properly? That most Caymanian of institutions?

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    • P&L says:

      Or the immigration action policy that doesn’t require advertisements for most food and beverage permits… hmmmm… so basically 2,500 jobs don’t have to be advertised at all… that might be a starting point.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t blame immigration. That direction came straight from Cabinet.

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        • P&L says:

          Regardless… a Cabinet directive to Immigration to institute a particular policy is STILL an immigration policy.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Set by politicians, not by the dedicated and hard working civil servants that the same politicians are so quick to blame for the consequences.

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      • It's only half the pie says:

        Have you ever been to department of immigration? Why are the security guards not Caymanian? Surely anyone can unlock the door at 8.30, help choose the options in the ticket machine and tell ladies they are dressed inappropriately for showing an upper arm and denying them entry (yes I witnessed this many times …..but it was subjective and there is no sign saying burkas are preferred)

        If you work for CiMA or a government authority you don’t need a work permit. You all worrying about the 25000 on permits.

        You should be worrying about those that don’t need permits – how are those figures being measured and monitored? What about those coming in on the I-am-rich-permits, those in the CEC zone, and those working for immigration that are backdooring helpers, gardeners, car washers etc. How are those people contributing to employmen and the economy?

    • Anonymous says:

      True true, but the requirement is that it be posted twice in a periodical aka the Compas. The fact that no one any longer buys the paper is not the employer’s problem. If you really care, than volunteer to help your country out of the1990’s into the real world.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    It comes down to this if caymanians want jobs and I’m just talking entry-level jobs They can get these jobs. Start off being a construction labor or a dish washer the list goes on and on. It seems to me maybe they don’t want a job but they sure do like to sit back and cry that they can’t find work I think its rather ridiculous and sort of funny all at the same time. I’m an expat just to let you know

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    • Anonymous says:

      Expat? Really? Would have never guessed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, which country are you from, what is the standard of living there and what would your parents and the other people in your locality say about your decision to settle for a thoughtless ‘job’ had you taken one? This generation of Caymanians got taken to church from a young age in formal attire, saw the society advance through children’s eyes, saw vast wealth achieved by many, and was told that to go to work is to put on a shirt and tie (or a demure dress), do as you’re told and earn the rewards. As a poster below said, it was all so easy. Until it wasn’t.

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    • Shame says:

      It’s all funny because things are PLUSH for you expats here. Can work in hospitality and abuse your drugs all day…population 60k and work permits are basically half.

      Won’t be funny for too much longer though – You will see.

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    • Anonymous says:

      An entry level job in a position where 95% of your colleagues are of a particular foreign nationality? Where you are made to feel like an outsider in your own country? Where you are required to keep your mouth shut when you are not paid pension monies or overtime or public holiday pay? Where you are assigned the nastiest tasks and the least remunerative shifts? Walk a mile in those shoes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you sweep floors and wash dishes ? The issue here is that everyone expects those Caymanians with abilities and capabilities above sweeping floors and washing dishes to be happy with those jobs and not complain when they don’t get the entry level jobs. We are not all only suited to minimum wage jobs some of us are quite capable and are still u employed !

  17. Anonymous says:

    Officially minorities in our own land. If that’s the number of permits alone, when you factor in all the other categories of non-Caymanians legally resident, we might even be outnumbered 2 to 1.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I posted a waiter position. I received 235 expat resumes, one Caymanian. I set up an interview with this person, never having worked in hospitality. Was 45 minutes for interview, and said he would not work for under $16 per hour…..wonder why so many foreign workers in hospitality?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m still waiting for your ‘late’.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What were you paying by the hour? How much was tips? How much did the Caymanian have to show to a bank as guaranteed hourly income to maintain their mortgage? How many people of a particular other nationality are in your workforce?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you not ask the 150-odd Caymanians who were happily working at the Holiday Inn before it was knocked down why they are no longer working in the hospitality industry?

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      • Michael says:

        AND CONTRARY TO WHAT AN EARLIER POST CLAIMED, THE SERVICE FROM CAYMANIAN STAFF AT HOLIDAY INN WAS EXCELLENT! I REGULARLY TOOK MY FAMILY THERE FROM 1997 ISH FOR SUNDAY BREAKFAST, AND APPRECIATED THE SERVICE FROM THE CAYMANIAN STAFF.

  19. Anonymous says:

    CaymanKind. Where big shot, over-paid, pension double-dipping, gambling-addicted, shotty-past, bigoted, MLA’s, sell out their own people. The true face of Cayman.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Question:

    What incentive/motive would a business have NOT to hire locally other than it has found it difficult to find qualified employees without going abroad? However easy it may be to navigate the permit process and import workers, why go to even that minimal trouble unless there were a perceived need to do so?

    The suggestions in the comments that the gov’t fosters this situation to generate fees, or that businesses lobby to keep it so, don’t make a lot of sense to me.

    It isn’t realistic or reasonable to expect a private business to take on the responsibility, and additional expense, of vocational training sua sponte. Even if you believe that there should be “protectionist” measures to create additional incentives (at some cost) for employers to hire locally and deliver vocational training that would not otherwise be required, let’s at least be honest and admit that those employers did not create the situation in the first instance.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I beg to differ with you. Many employers did create this mess by taking advantage of the lack of enforcement manpower to police the training provisions of the law & regulations. Regulation 6 has habitually been breached by employers to the detriment of many Caymanians, so much so that apparently people like you don’t even know it exists.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s be clear, this article mostly addresses entry level jobs. As for F&B Servers and other hospitality jobs most locals don’t want them. Business does have a responsibility to train but here are some facts. Certain positions receive zero local applicants. When we do get local applicants 50% do not show up to the interview of the ones that do turn up most are late, a large number can’t read or write or tell you they can’t work weekends ie peak time for hospitality business.

        Does the provisions to train locals include basic English and math skills, are you expected to train basic work ethic? Take a look at what your high schools are turning out and blame disinterested parents and whatever else is going on in your public schools. Business is not a day care service for high school leavers or in business to provide charity to unprepared and unwilling employees. Show up on time and with basic level of education and I will put you to work tomorrow. I will even train you on how to be a valuable member of the hospitality industry. Stick with it for a year or two and show some intrest and you will get promoted. Of the ones that have shown up on time to the interview most have not lasted a month. Of the one that made it to the 2 year mark most have used it as a stepping stone to gain some good experience and changed fields and are steadily climbing the corporate ladders in their new roles.

        How many Caymanians do you see tending bar? Not many and this isn’t because bars don’t want to hire them it’s because the youth of Cayman would be ashamed to serve drinks to their friends. I know a few bartenders making more than $75 000 a year. Obviously you will not make this kind of money in year one heck you may even have to bar back for a year or two but that is serious money without a degree.

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        • Anonymous says:

          How does a Caymanian get a mixology degree? That seems to be one of your requirements before the Caymanian is qualified to make a rum and coke in some organisations.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Check out Cayman Wine School 3, I do agree local government needs a proper hospitality school. It could probably be run out of the high schools at night.

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            • What is really needed is a trade school. Electricians, plumbers, auto mechanic, etc. That is how you get the work permit numbers down. Then after that is done, CIG can work at getting rid of the 25% of CIG workers who are here on work permits. The CIG should clean up their own back yard first before telling the private sector who they should be hiring.

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              • Anonymous says:

                There is no need for trade schools and given the population size having them would be entirely uneconomic. The proper thing to do is to have apprentice schemes, with exams being taken overseas where required.

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                • Anonymous says:

                  ONE trade school, Lord know-it-all.

                  It IS needed and would be an asset to the local community. Not everyone can afford to leave the island to educate themselves, but they should have the option to do so here!

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                  • Anonymous says:

                    one for mixology, one for plumbers, one for electricians, one for servers, one for carpenters, one for landscapers, one for secretaries, …

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          • Anonymous says:

            Lol hard. Truth is treasure-able!

        • Anonymous says:

          100% accurate assessment!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes, here we go, everyone else to blame, never Caymanians… Get a grip.

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      • Anonymous says:

        We also had (and sadly still have) a premier who said he gladly would give our managerial level work permits as it created lower level positions for caymanians. A Caymanian who rose above his ability and wanted to insure he kept other below him.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is too true my friend!

      • Anonymous says:

        The expectation that employers should be required to remedy problems created by the gov’t, the schools, or simply someone’s unwillingness to take a particular type of job is just wrong. They didn’t create that situation, but they are expected to make up for it by preferentially hiring less qualified, or less motivated, candidates.

        I just reject the premise that anyone has a moral claim to expect an employer to hire them when there is a better or more motivated candidate available. The proper focus of the grievance should be the school/society/government that did not prepare that person for the workplace rather than demonizing the employer for not taking on the burden, at its own expense, of solving a problem created by others.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Employers love the indentured nature of our work permit system.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, nothing makes an employer feel better than writing that cheque to government for a work permit fee.

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  21. Suspected Caymanian says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous shame on you Alden Mclaughlin and the PPM you promised voters this would not be happening you are a disgusting bunch of liars !!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    There are not enough Caymanians to fill the various positions available. In many cases, Caymanians are given job opportunities. You just need to read their resumes and you will see how many jobs they have had. It is not always the employer who is at fault. Showing up for work and coming to work on time is a big problem in Cayman. This has always been the case and likely will be for a very long time due to our abysmal educational system.

    Before government attempts further so called improvements to the immigration and labour departments, they should clean up the PR mess. In my opinion, each time government attempts an improvement; it results in more bureaucracy and confusion with little benefit for whatever problem they were attempting to solve.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why not showing up for work or showing up late is the fault of the education system? Sounds like the individual is just lazy to me. Yep we do have some of those as you would also find in other places. Just please hire those who show up

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’m guessing it’s related in that kids graduate school, after many years of showing up late or not showing up. Any teachers out there care to weigh in?

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      • Anonymous says:

        The ones that do show up and work are not the same ones banging on about not having opportunities…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. Though the lack of work ethic comes from school days when the public school is not allowed to chastise or penalize the child for them attending school/classes late. Similar with dressing appropriately, hair styles, grooming etc.

        The school ends up in the press and a parent accuses the teacher/school of being unreasonable or discrimination. The most recent one that comes to mind is John Gray high school over a child being told to tuck in the pants, have it tailored or wear a more appropriate size and to get a haircut.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And then there are those expats, who show-up to work, drink all the water in the cooler before midday because they’re on coke and “hyped” all the time.

        Whatever gets the job done aye?

        “As long as you show-up, we don’t care if you snort that powder!”

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  23. Anon says:

    Well this article will do one thing … Incite more hatred to expats! Ready Caymanians , off your Mark’s and ….. GO

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    • Anonymous says:

      What unemployed Caymanians should do is block the doors to their places of employment. Where are the jobs for the citizens? Picket in town.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This entitled, arrogant and ungrateful group of expats deserves everything they get. You are guests!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Guests with power…throw us out to spite yourselves, so that there will be a lot less jobs, very little income for CIG and no way to pay social services? Whch part don’t you get? Stop blaming us, educate your youth to be fit to work when they leave scholl and then the need for expats will reduce automatically, and believe me the employers will be happier.

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        • Anonymous says:

          The people who own the private companies are only loyal to the success of the financial services industry in this jurisdiction; not the local population. They can take their business anywhere in the world at anytime so I for one GET IT.

          They would rather hire an expat who would feel no remorse with leaving this Country and going to another to continue working, the Caymanian will think about it and weigh his/her options before just picking up and leaving because this small tiny sumn’ of a place is our home.

          It wasn’t you or your friends that sold me and my own out; it was my own native Caymanians that did it!

          The sell-outs have the most to say but nothing to show for their bantering.

      • Anonymous says:

        if they are guests then try treating them like guests, not as home invaders

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  24. Anonymous says:

    I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears young Caymanians believing that serving is beneath them, even when they admit to having little or no education. I will also be harsh (and expect the comments to roll) that in most (but not all) of those restaurants where there are young Caymanians you get the attitude, the lip and sometimes downright bad work ethic that makes me think twice about going there again, or I ask the front desk to seat me where that person is not working. Before you start, that is not racism or hatred, but a simple “if I am going out to spend my hard earned money then it better be a pleasurable experience”. Why should I have to put up with attitude in a service environment? You have to wake up guys..in most European countries serving is seen as a profession, and it really is,and here if you do it well, make the customer happy then he is going to generally leave a little more than the (frankly ridiculous) 15% already added. I know many who do quite well out of serving, because they do it very well.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your comments sound prejudicial right out of the starting blocks but allow me to defend the Caymanians who struggle to thrive in some F&B settings. In many cases, one dominant nationality can put the Caymanian at a disadvantage by not tolerating differences or preferring “their own” for promotions etc. I have seen it happen too many times. I’d find it difficult to smile while I waited on you if I knew there was a knife in my back or that someone with a worse record than mine was promoted above me. It happens.
      Maybe your own prejudice against the Caymanian waitstaff was showing. Tolerance will do all of us a world of good. Next time you see a Caymanian without a smile, give him/her yours.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Just because you don’t like my comment, it doesn’t make it right. I don’t like any lazy people, regardless of where they are from. The difference here? Lazy expats get fired and have to leave island. You guys just blame everyone else for your own failings.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Not in the service industry. But I do see where friendships have carried individuals. Managers put in positions that have no actual ability and heavily lean on their internal work friends for guidance and external work friends to teach them how to do their job.

        The better educated, experienced Caymanian staff see this happen and become severely disgruntled over time. The Caymanian staff are instructed to teach the manager and if not are written up for attitude/behavior and excluded from bonuses.

        Eventually the manager leaves and is replaced with another expat/very recent PR receiver. In one instance, the PR individual would have gone home.

        The company I work for has predominately Caymanians but only one token Caymanian in a management position. Every other is an expat or an expat turned Caymanian who only hires expats in managerial positions who then become PR eligible. There is a blatant glass ceiling for Caymanians.

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  25. Michel Lemay says:

    Well the scale : Work permit holders VS Caymanian population is tilting . Your guess is as good as mine where we are heading and the lack of vision for local population future is not very promising . And you wonder why the crime rate is escalatating. Follow Turks & Caicos plan of action to reduce illegals & those working outside their supposed jobs and better wake up and start reducing work permit allowance or face a very not so pleasant period and divided and just another Island in the Caribbean as many others. Can’t go on like this much longer. It can go from Caymankind to Caymanwild real quick. Mr. Premier and honorable representatives of our Govt.time to pay serious attention. Just saying..before it’s too late.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is actually working very well…the only people who have problems are the small delusional group of Caymanians who dont want to work and dream up BS about expats taking all their work…like MD, Finance Director,qualified accountant,auditor when they have no skills to do those jobs.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You need a reality check. Really quick and really badly.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I agree to for the most part. Caymanians are often given opportunities, but then I have often heard that training by their expat superior is half a… – then by the end of the short probation period they haven’t made the grade. Heard this many times.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There are plenty of Caymanians that are underemployed and have held those positions in the past…I’ve never seen a more entitled and deluded group of expats in all my years….thanks Alden…you created this.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Except many of those come to the island with little experience then gain it here.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So exactly who is Cayman being developed for??11

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  27. Anonymous says:

    CNS thanks for this medium. How many unemployed Caymanians? Shame on you CIG! If I can recall an iconic Caymanian DR STEVE MCFIELD has been vocal about Cayman adopting the Bahamas way of dealing with work permits. Also why not bring back the Minister of Labour from Bermuda let him explain his country way of dealing with work permits. Crime will forever be on the increase with the Caymanian youths, they have expressed it through this medium and with the upsurge of crime. Get the youths to work . How many of these work permit holders will eventually apply or achieve Permanent Residence.

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    • Anonymous says:

      1.24 why don’t you do some research about Bahama’s and Bermuda’s debts and particularly crime in Bahamas and then tell me if you really want to go there.

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      • Anonymous says:

        3:24 pm it is not the crime, it is the way they both deal with work permits. A permit is a contract, which is for a specific time. If those permit holders are belittling the locals because they speak up about zero chances of securing a job in their own country, what will those same permit holders say and do, after they get PR or status?
        That’s when the shit will hit the fan. Step on the brakes before the bus goes over into the abyss.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    RUN DRIFTWOOD RUN!!!!!

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  29. Hap Less says:

    It is a fact of development (and over development), all over the world, that locals stop doing certain types of work. In Cayman there was a 40 year effort to persuade young people that office jobs were the only employment option. It was all so easy. That is no longer true.

    It will take another generation or two before the pendulum swings back and service jobs are once again considered viable employment options for Caymanians.

    Government could, of course, put some actual emphasis on vocational training but, like permanent moorings, that has always been a taboo subject.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Alden must realize this by now but it has never been a concern to him. He (and Marco previously) seemed to believe work permit revenues are the answer to all the problems. An incredible naïve economic policy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      According to john-john while on the Chamber forum leading up to election, he was going to call for work permits to stop on his first day after getting in to office. Mr. Minister we are waiting with bated breath- get cracking!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Poor John-John, he is lost as a fiddlers fxxt. Don’t hold your breath, mouth will say anything that will swing your head.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not about permit revenues. The number of permits is simply a guage to the health of the economy. It should signal to ALL Caymanians in need of work that there is employment if they are willing to accept it.
      We (Caymanians) need to look at jobs as a way to improve our skills. Keep improving and anyone can get to where they are capable of reaching. For example, start as a server and read the manager level if you are capable and willing to learn. The same applies to every industry.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you must work for government where your arse is protected and can never be fired. You need to check how many Caymanians have been unjustly pushed out of their careers just to make way for someone’s expat friend or family or just because they prefer their accent. Yes, that’s the reality. We are going over the cliff and you think it’s just because Caymanians don’t want to work. Wake up.

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        • Anonymous says:

          This is true! Lame excuses abt cayman in don’t want to work…where are they living? In space or at the jailhouse??

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      • Anonymous says:

        I couldn’t agree more. Everyone wants to be the boss with no experience and little education. The service industry like all others takes hard work but if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and pay your dues the sky is the limit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So record work permits and now they are through the easy rejections and deferrals, PR approvals skyrocketing…Alden you must realize every decision you have made has been for the benefit of foreign interests to the detriment of Caymanian people….try doing the opposite of what you think is best. You are doing long term damage with every action and word you speak.

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  31. OneVoice says:

    I will agree that this looks terrible , but the fault lies with the HR department in these companies first, and then with Labour and Immigration . These departments MUST start to do their jobs and enforce the law. Yes there will always be a need for expat workers/work permits but come on now 25,000 ? wake up. The blame can also fall on our own people who don’t want to work in certain industry or just too darn LAZY, I am Caymanian so I can say this. This must be fix. Come on Bryn, Chris, Ezzard, and a few others , get busy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Chris? That the same guy that served on the BSP Board that approved many of these permits without ensuring there were opportunities for Caymanians?

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    • Anonymous says:

      “I am Caymanian so I can say this”…says it all…all the rest of us are second class citizens with no right to say what we think? This is about the only forum we can do this own without writing our names which would mean front of the deportation queue…You were doing quite well until then.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ironically, nearly all HR staff are Caymanian

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      • Anonymous says:

        3:57pm are you joking? Those employment agencies have the job market xxxx up, employing expats on six month permits and they stay here for years. Time to drain the swamp.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Amen! Our government created one of the most lucrative business opportunities-Temping Agencies- which do anything but hire temporary personnel. Oh, except to circumvent the law. They make millions off the backs of unemployed Caymanians. Ironically the temping agencies are mostly owned by expats now who came here through the work permit system. How could a country get its priorities so bass ackwards?

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        • Anonymous says:

          I love the ‘drain the swamp’ phrase. If it did get totally drained you have no idea how s#@t this place would become and you’d be welcome to it.

      • P&L says:

        What? Lol… you definitely don’t know what you’re talking about. Check again. Not the paper pushers. The decisions makers. Yes. Thought so.

      • Anonymous says:

        And having to follow whose instructions?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Excellent commentary CNS. The politicians have long known this position, and have refused to do anything about it. It should be fun to watch those responsible try to explain their inaction which has literally destroyed the prospects of a large number of young Caymanians who have been deprived of entry level opportunities when they needed them most. For them, the damage is sadly done. Perhaps we can stop repeating the failures.

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    • Golden goose says:

      That is because work permit fees are a reliable revenue stream. Why encourage business to hire local when gov is reliant on these permit fees to cover gov staff salaries and costly benefits.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You left out that many of the businesses concerned make valuable political contributions. Where do we think the hundred dollar bills some politicians hand out to constituents in need come from? That is the most important revenue stream to some.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There is enough blame to go around here. Yes, some of my people don’t want to do the work, government is using work permit fees as another industry to top up treasury, so they were/ are not interested in making any change to the system. I remember MLA Suckoo over the last four years warning about “cheap labour appetite” to the derision of the government even while he was on their back bench. The PPM as well as previous governments allowed this to happened to the detriment of our island. When all those who apparently are leaving because of the pension issue go, no permits should need be issued until every interested, capable, trained up Caymanian is hired. That means government should have already put in place a training center to get our own people ready to take up these jobs. I remember the Premier while defending the money spent on Clifton Hunter High School, justified the cost by offering evening courses in gourmet cooking, waters, swimming and recording. According to him, there would be a full industrial kitchen, a recording studio and an Olympic pool. Are these amenities being offered. If not then we should ask him why not??

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        • Anonymous says:

          Wait and see how many are going to leave? They may leave but will be back. They are interested in grabbing the pension, which should equate to ‘no return’.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed. That money is needed to pay the staff at immigration to bundle and warehouse the PR applications.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The research shows that too many of our young Caymanians lack basic skills required for entry level service industry positions including, reading, writing, motivation, and an understanding of how to deliver a positive customer experience.

      As for the construction industry, we should expect that “bosses” require a workforce with a combination of skills, experience, and certifications when it comes to employing concrete finishers, plumbers, carpenters, machine operators, welders, HVAC technicians, and electricians.

      Unfortunately it’s easier to make the immigration department and work permit board scapegoats for mediocre parenting instead of owning the whole picture. This is not what I would call “excellent” commentary; ironically, it’s actually lazy journalism.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The research shows that despite legal requirements to do so, many of the businesses have failed to make provision for the training and mentoring of Caymanians and have not operated apprentice schemes.

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        • Anonymous says:

          And the research will show that even when it became clear they are not doing what is required of them, the enforcement authorities did nothing. That is a bit of a tradition around here.
          They do nothing when pension money is stolen.
          They do nothing when health insurance is not maintained.
          They do nothing when a Caymanian fronts for foreign nationals.
          They do nothing when a Caymanian is unfairly dismissed.
          They do nothing when a Caymanian applicant for a position is not disclosed.
          Exactly how long does government think: “we are Caymanianising our workforce by making foreign nationals Caymanian” was going to be sustainable for?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Tell that dat clown fish again!

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians don’t do landscaping, dishwashing, serving, cooking, auto mechanics, laboring of construction sites, janitorial services, child care, helper, boat cleaning, auto cleaning, cloths washing, airport security, security guard services, auto body work and especially they don’t speak Spanish while working in bars with tight short shorts and bikini tops. But I will do any of these jobs to feed my children and build a roof over my head and I’m 6’1 brown and hairy.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Tell me, how does a 15 year old Caymanian child with a lawnmower set up a neighborhood grass cutting service to raise pocket-money and learn work ethic if they have to compete with highly organised teams of foreign nationals being paid sub-subsistence wages?

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        • Anonymous says:

          He goes door to door, shows respect and asks for the work at first at a “reasonable” rate to get the chance, then works hard and does a good job so that he gets to keep the job onging…I would rather give my money to a young, hardworking Caymanian boy, then to some random company that has random workers come and go from Jamaica who probably don’t get paid min wage and pension and healthcare.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Fair enough – but does our government really have to make it so difficult? Is a reasonable fetter on his competition not appropriate, including for his buddies that want to wash cars instead of mowing lawns?

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