Business staffing plans target of reform

| 15/11/2017 | 93 Comments

(CNS): The business staffing plans submitted by larger firms to the immigration department, which are designed to show what companies are doing to support the education, training promotion and career development of Caymanians employees while facilitating the approval of necessary work permits, will be the target of the planned immigration reforms, as Premier Alden McLaughlin has stated that the system is not working. While the premier signaled his support for immigration during the recent budget debate, he has also committed to overhauling what is now seen as a failed system and conceded several times during Finance Committee that the business staffing plan system needs replacing.

Answering questions in Finance Committee, McLaughlin said that for many years “people have wondered” about the value of the business staffing plan regime. He said it needed to be improved or replaced with a “system that actually works for Caymanians” wanting to move up the ranks within the organisations where they work and to encourage employers to train staff and reward those that do.

McLaughlin said that government had to find a way to make employers more accountable for the commitments they make in business staffing plans.

He admitted that historically, the government had done a very poor job at policing and enforcing this element of the work permit regime and acknowledged opposition concerns that there is no system checking the scholarships that larger employers are supposed to provide in exchange for easier access to work permits.

MLA Alva Suckoo pointed to the amount of public cash government commits to scholarships and the struggles that students still have trying to finance their time in college. He said no one is tracking this other potential lucrative source of education funding for local students.

Staffing plans are required from all employers who have a workforce of fifteen or more staff. They are supposed to set out the current and future human resource plans identifying Caymanians who will move into positions held by permit holders, how long it will take to replace expats with locals, the training required to develop the careers of Caymanian workers, as well as the scholarship commitments.

The concept has been increasingly criticised by the opposition, however, because of the lack of transparency. Employers hide behind the fact that the information in the plans relates to the future business strategy of the entities and should be confidential because it could be detrimental to their ability to compete in the free market.

But as a result, even the Caymanian workers that are cited in the plans as being trained and steered towards position are not allow to see the plans. Speculation persists that businesses often name local workers as part of a development strategy but in reality those staff members are not even aware that they are being named in the plans and are certainly not receiving the training.

Calls from the opposition to make firms publish the plans have been rejected by government, but McLaughlin made a commitment during Finance Committee that this was one of a number of areas that would form part of the reform of the work permit system. Over the next two years this part of the immigration department will be merged with the National Workforce Development Agency into a human resource department focused on creating a more accountable and transparent employment regime to meet the economic and social needs of the country.

The premier told Finance Committee that the policy to develop the new agency was supported not just by his Progressive party but by the members of the coalition he leads, and work was well underway on creating the new department.

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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (93)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The best part of these plans is when you train up someone enough that they jump jobs just before they bump off a senior employee.

  2. #nosympathy says:

    Alva Suckwho shoukd be focusing on the Mickey Mouse US institutions that are still allowed to be included in the Scholarship program. 20K covers tuition and housing at a U.K. university, if one chooses to attend the University Of Buttcrack, Alabama at 40k a year for tuition alone, one should be on ones own.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I called a Gov. Dept. yesterday. The lady that answered the phone was impossible to understand. Poor thing had to have me spell for her. I finally just hung up. What were the qualifications for the job?

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  4. West bay Premier says:

    I think that’s really funny how the Premier can see today all the fault that exists in the Immigration with work permits and Caymanians and Employers, but couldn’t see them all these years .

    The Premier just about two weeks ago praised the Immigration and himself for taking the Islands into such good success . And today he is talking about changing the good strategy he had .
    He must think that everyone are fools ,. but i think he’s the one that is delusional and you should too .

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I had an interesting conversation with an employer the other day. Their workforce is almost exclusively Caymanian. Their US operation which is of similar size in terms of turnover and work output employs about 22% of the number of people that are needed in Cayman to produce similar results. Payroll per employee is similar. Most employees here are in lower skilled positions, so they cannot get permits for “producers”. They have no choice but to hire Caymanians. The alternative is to move elsewhere or shut down their operation here. They cited issues such as too much talking, with little action, absenteeism, entitlement as the employees feel like they are invaluable. They cited one example of a team of Caymanians taking almost a year to fulfill a task that would take one American about 6 weeks.

    Let the hate/ troll comments start. Today I came through the airport and had to wait for several minutes whilst the immigration officer finished her text conversation, then waited for the parking office person to finish the game she was playing on her cellphone. Get a work attitude and you will have work.

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    • Anonymous says:

      well just at the performance of the civil service…..the largest employer of caymanians…
      says all you need to know.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Love it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am an expat. In defense of Caymanian’s, most of them are not like that. In my workplace, the people who take advantage are the expats too, now going to be permanent residents. The expats come here and show no respect at all to the Caymanians. They say they are lazy, but tell you what, these expats mostly the same nationality as the bosses, are lazier and think they can get away with everything just because the bosses got their backs. An expat who is the same color as the boss would definitely be promoted before a qualified Caymanian. You cannot blame them for thinking they are at a disadvantage in their own land. Remember too, most heads in private companies here are mostly “paper” Caymanians.

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      • Anonymous says:

        you are not an expat….
        pants on fire!

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      • anonymous says:

        I don’t reckon its colour based. More like if you are Irish, Canadian or English.

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      • Anonymous says:

        These fake posts by Caymanians posing as tourists, children and now expats are a total joke. You’re not fooling anyone. Starting out with “I am an expat” and then going off about how horrible they are to Caymanians is not at all clever enough to make anyone believe you. Try harder.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry if you do not believe this but there are actually some expats who are so sick and tired of other expats who think they are God’s gift to this island. 3 nationalities in my workplace are guilty of this. Same nationality as the bosses, so naturally qualified Caymanians won’t get anything at all even if they kill them selves working. Same for other expats who are not from these 3 countries. You are probably one of them that is why you can never see the injustice happening.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “I am an expat.”…”The expats come here and show no respect at all to the Caymanians. They say they are lazy, but tell you what, these expats…” ooops nice try.

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        • annonymous says:

          1:04pm 4:00pm & 8:51pm…
          Very sad that you refuse to believe that an expat employee could never be lazy incompetent and disrespectful. Also that an expat would never write a post calling out expats.

          Truth is, lazy disrespectful and incompetent employees hail from all countries; and yes many are Caymanians too, but many are also expats.

          You find them in the private sector and CIG; and people who are honest and fair will speak up and call it like it is; no matter which country they hail from, and this should always be the case.

          Suppose I too, am now spreading ‘fake news” in your opinions; but it won’t change the fact that my post and the other post are facts.

          Surely you have to believe that decent fair and balanced individuals, expats and Caymanians will speak the truth.

          Truth must always be told no matter who the persons are; or where they hail from; to date that has never failed me in life.

          Fairness and “honesty” is the best policy and will always be. Have a lovely day.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Not at all refusing to believe that expats are can be lazy too….Just refusing to believe that post was actually written by an expat. Way too transparent. Sorry. I personally know loads of horrible expats and loads of horrible Caymanians. I just refer to all of them as horrible HUMANS. The constant divide of people based on where they come from is what is sad here. Not the fact that we don’t believe who claims to have written the post.

          • Anonymous says:

            9.32 you are right, as 12.16 writes, I also know lots of horrible expats and caymanians…the difference is that if our bosses find us out we go home with nothing. So most of us have to work pretty hard and perform well to keep our jobs.

    • Cayman Affiliate says:

      Weird. Where I work its the opposite with our US affiliate.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Way to make up bull$hit….22% was such a nice touch..just leave guy

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    • Anonymous says:

      Until the original poster (6:15) starts naming the “employers” name and his contact, this needs to be filed in the fake news category. The stakes are too high (i.e. ongoing divisiveness) to believe people who lob these anecdotal stories, with convenient timing, on to the forum. We all deserve better than this.
      Otherwise you are going to see an increase in fabricated stories in the Comments section that fits the narrative of the poster.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    “Employers hide behind the fact that the information in the plans relates to the future business strategy of the entities and should be confidential because it could be detrimental to their ability to compete in the free market.”

    That’s one perspective I guess. The other one would be THAT IT’S F***ING PERFECTLY TRUE that it is and should be confidential.

    Can you imagine if every company’s plans were an open book? Businesses would be leaving in even larger droves.

    Seriously.

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  7. "Anonymousir" says:

    as Premier Alden McLaughlin has stated that the system is not working … does he really want it to work or just saying that to make himself look good? Christ Alden! this is your country, not DARTs’ or the expacts! ITS YOUR COUNTRY!! Stand the F up for it!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The reason BSPs aren’t working is because people don’t want them to and find ways round them. I worked for a company where their operations were deliberately divided into small units to avoid the BSP criteria. At the end of the day we all worked for the same boss and did the same jobs but on paper we worked for different companies and the staff at immigration not only knew about it but turned a blind eye to it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What do you expect? People work the rules everywhere. If you really want to police this you will need a thousand more expats to do the work that policing it would require. Your system tries to suppress normal economic forces. Commanding people to act against their best interest never works well. No business actually operates the way your system envisions so the BSPs will always be separate from reality.

  9. Anonymous says:

    caymanians have 95%+ employment rate……where is the discrimination or the big conspiracy that caymanians are not being employed??????

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    • Diogenes says:

      Apparently the natural employment level is discriminatory, and people lack a basic understanding of economics principles, of course saying that is a quick way to amass dislikes and to be shouted down in the comments sections, but it is true

      People of the Cayman Islands think that there should be 0% unemployment before there are work permits which means we outsource jobs to foreign workers
      They miss crucial points however:

      1. 0% unemployment is nonexistent in our economic system
      2. There is a certain level of unemployment that is natural in a growing economy
      3. There will always be someone in a worse off position willing to do the same work cheaper

      According to them it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that every Caymanian who wants a job has a job before issuing any WPs whatsoever even if the Caymanian in question is not qualified or educated or even interested in the job that has the WP holder has.

      Never quite understood how it is the government’s job to force Caymanians into businesses, I personally would feel resentful if I was just a token Caymanian used to meet a quota but maybe that is just me, success or failure I made the decisions that led to where I am in life in relation to employment, the government is meant to provide education, opportunities and assistance or a social safety net if I am unsuccessful but I am responsible for what happens to me not them. I know many instances of WP holders in management or administration that have put their jobs on the line to make sure their teams and employees are taken care of Caymanian and non Caymanian.

      There are also the conspiracy theorists that think there is a huge private sector and government back plot against the native population which too me seems like hysteria induced delusion but then again who knows what that dump is leaking into the area

      But that is just my humble opinion
      Diogenes

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      • If one studies economics at university in UK, USA or Canada it is taught that full employment is considered to be 3%. It is considered 3% because it is accepted that in any western developed economy there are people who are simply not capable of working due to physical / mental disabilities, drugs, alcoholism, etc.

        I would argue that Cayman has full employment by normal economic criteria.

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      • anonymous says:

        A lot of fake job advertisements and its well known they are bent towards whoever from the home country.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    how about having no staffing plan????…. like the rest of the world….
    why should a business have a requirement to educate, train, employ locals?
    the entitlement culture of cayman lives on…………….

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    • Anonymous says:

      ummm, the obligation to train locals is only a consequence of having expats on work permits.

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      • Anonymous says:

        True, but is it working? Irresponsibility and dependency seem to be on the increase. The system seems to say that the world owes Caymanians a living. The world, however, seems to disagree. Maybe you should try something different.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No. Its a consequence of a failed educational and political system here in Cayman that doesn’t turn out many folk fit to work, let alone with any decent recognized qualifications, and does nothing whatsoever to prepare youngsters for the world of work once they leave school. I am over 50 and I got this when I was at school. How come Cayman education standards are regressing instead of progressing? Instead of addressing their responsibility to adequately educate Caymanians, the politicians instead pass the buck onto private business concerns that have no qualifications or experience in educating. Think about it. If Caymanians continue their blinkered approach pointing fingers at expats and employers all the time (and the politicians actively encourage this when campaigning), how are things ever going to improve for Caymanians? Would you rather be a token employee that the employer was ‘forced’ to take, or would you prefer to be head-hunted and hired on merit, because the education you received, and qualifications achieved are actually relevant to the work available on island and thus, employers would no longer need to look abroad to fill vacancies?

        Complain at your politicians for failing in their obligation to train and provide adequate education for locals.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No point in thumbing that comment down. It is the Law – read s. 44 of the Immigration Law fir example.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wow you expats just want it all don’t you?!!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes we do and we work our asses off for it. We don’t sit around complaining and waiting for someone to hand it to us because we think its our right.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Yes some of you do, absolutely, and some expats are just as lazy as some Caymanians, whereas some Caymanians work their asses off as well. I’m a blood Caymanian boss with a mixed workforce, professional services. Nationality and education has nothing to do with laziness which is a personality trait I believe. Its pathetic for ex-pats to generalise Caymanians as being lazy, and just as bad for Caymanians to generalise ex-pats as having an entitlement attitude. Both traits exist in both camps, period.

    • anonymous says:

      Are you a lazy expat employer? Do you like bringing in cheaper labour to undercut local wages and conditions? Are you part of a culture of entitlement?

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      • P&L says:

        It’s not always about bringing in cheaper labour. The minimum wage rules could possibly be making it harder for lower skilled/experienced Caymanians to find entry level positions. When a business can hire someone with a bachelor’s degree and years of relevant work experience for minimum wage and permit fees then that sets the standard. If you are coming with less than that… what is the incentive to hire the less qualified person? If you take Caymanian out of the picture… the answer would seem so obvious. Is the difference in the candidates worth more than the price of the permit?

        Other than being patriotic (which you can’t take to CUC for payment) What other reason is there to hire the less qualified person? It’s not a hard decision if you look at it from a business perspective… and if an employer decides to go for more bang for the buck… well, they are well within their rights to do so.

        While there are many positive sides to having a minimum wage, there are sometimes side effects of changes that we don’t necessarily expect. I don’t think it was anticipated that it might have this type of effect.

        As they say… it’s complicated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    re: training locals….
    you can bring a horse to water but you cannot make it drink….

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The problem is politicians do not see those with status as being Caymanian enough for these plans. Which is a disgrace.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    as always…they support rich companies….cayman ga go under ya hear caymanians…better look at plan z….abc y k….???

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Good work indentifying this by Opposition member Alva Suckoo

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  15. How about the CIG coming up with a plan to train Caymanians to replace the 25% of expats who make up the CIG? Then after that is done build a trade / vocational school to eliminate all of the expat plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, air conditioner technicians, etc. That will certainly create hundreds of jobs for young Caymanians.

    The CIG should get out of the business of telling the private sector what to do and focus on it’s own knitting first.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    People move up the ranks because they’re better than the competition. Pushing people through because they have the right passport is a recipe for disaster and de-values the position, much like the law degree from Truman Bodden / Liverpool University… I see that on a profile and I automatically think it’s a freebee. Tell me I’m wrong? Try going to the website of the Cayman law school and tell me it doesn’t look mickey mouse. Earn your place at the table, don’t expect it to be handed to you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are wrong. The former Managing Partner of Walkers (for example) was a graduate of that law school. Nothing wrong with the education it provides, just the quality of training that is given in Articles post graduation, and the unfair prejudices extended by persons who form an unfair view of the quality of the school.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Such a callous remark! You put into question the integrity of the University of Liverpool (UK) and every one of its students, past and present, here and in the UK. Sucks to be you? Why are you still here?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ok. You are wrong.

    • anonymous says:

      I could say the same thing about many expats. Seems like certain employers like mickey mouse accounting designations like ACCA. CPA is multiple choice etc.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The reason why Business Staffing Plans have not been enforced may possibly best be summarized by a single word. Corruption. The breaches of the plans have long been known to those in authority. They involve fraud, and the destruction of the careers of Caymanians. Any prosecutions Alden? Nah. Any compensation for the Caymanians whose livelihoods may have been seriously damaged? Nah.

    All government has done is grant status to many of the very people who were refusing to train, promote or even employ Caymanians, and in the process displaced the very Caymanians you were charged with representing.

    And now you decide it is time to do something?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, blame the expats. Go and get an internationally recognised qualification to service the international clients that use Cayman as their domicile of choice then come back and see how quickly you get promoted, if you turn up, don’t religiously take your 10 days annual sick leave, and commit to a career.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I met every single element of your criteria. I was named in a Business Staffing Plan as having a position I never held. When i complained I lost my job. The government did nothing.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No, actually blaming the Cayman Government for not enforcing its own laws on that one.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have a very qualified Caymanian co worker (international designations). Very intelligent, shows up to work everyday and even brings home work when on vacation. A few years on the job and still not promoted as opposed to one expat co worker who complains everyday and not as qualified as the Caymanian. The expat is now doing more advanced work than the Caymanian, was promoted only after a few years on the job. The difference – the expat is one of the bosses “own”.

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      • anonymous says:

        I have an internationally recognised qualification, one that is better than most of the others in my field. Also have international experience. Yet some Irishman/Canadian/South African who doesn’t have that designation is invariably employed in the job as the work permit advertisement is bent to their resume. This happens over and over.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Can you please elaborate on where the corruption lies? Are you suggesting that businesses are paying immigration officers to grant permits? I don’t follow.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I know of several firms that have hotlines to immigration or exploit loopholes by going through a crooked one man band staffing company. This might be what 1:40pm is referring to? You might not know this if you’re on a work permit, and especially if you have not seen the application your employer has made for you. I’ve even seen a Public Authority forge a work permit application several times consecutively to reduce fees for one of their employees. I’m quite sure the recent Immigration Dept. arrests exposed some of these illegal permit activities.

        Quite simply it’s a system run a muck

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        • Anonymous says:

          I honestly don’t understand what you’re saying. Why would a public authority forge a document to reduce fees for one of its employees. Public authorities don’t pay work permit fees. But is this the corruption you’re talking about? Exploiting a loophole as you put it isn’t illegal. In fact that’s how cayman makes its money so to speak. Legally not illegally. I still want to understand what point you’re making or what type of corruption you’re speaking about.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Exploiting a connection, as I should have put it. Unfortunately I wouldn’t expect you to grasp what’s going on even if you’d witnessed it with your own eyes.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    It is time to realize that the firms especially the big ones will do the bare minimum to get by as it relates to locals. In reality they have no intention of helping Cayamanians climb up the chain. The narrative that Caymanians are lazy suite their plan, using a select few bad apples to support their objective, I dare say is to hire their “own kind”. Just wait until the new PR grants are able to get Cayman status and then you will see the imaginary line drawn on certain type of Caymanians. No more scholarships, interns, or job opportunities unless your “Caymaninan” Parents live in Crystal harbour for example.

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    • Anonymous says:

      anyone tried to get a scholarship in the real world?

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      • Anonymous says:

        If this is not the real world, what are you doing here? hypocrite! Many of you act as if Cayman and Caymanians are the worst when most of you run away from your own country because you yourself cant survive /compete in your so called “real world”. stop been a hypocrite.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Your spelling and lack of command of every day English are a glaring example of why this country needs those who possess such skills.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Yet you are intelligent enough to interpret and understand this poster. Why the attitude?

          • anonymous says:

            Why are you calling Cayman a country? It is a territory. You need to get your skills up to date before your next work permit renewal. Back to the original point. 1.23pm realises that Alden and friends gave the country away with these PR approvals. Now jobs will be scarce and the expat networkers will happily employ friends, sons of friends acquaintances from the old country etc. I hope you enjoy your friends clogging up the roads in the morning. I guess that is progress to you.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Yes that is exactly what is happening in my work place. They only promote and mentor their own. Caymanians will never have a chance of moving up. They even treat expats from the third world like dirt.Caymanians and “lesser” expats have the same or even better qualifications and work ethics than them, but since they came from the superiors old country, they get everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      2/4 good effort.

    • Anonymous says:

      why would a local(all) business discriminate against locals?
      the ‘conspiracy’ makes no sense …..

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      • Anonymous says:

        A senior expat executive in a business I worked in had a good expat secretary. When the secretaries’ position was advertised, a good Caymanian applied. The executive refused to even interview her and insisted that the permit renewal application be made. When a junior Caymanian protested the law was not being followed they were told it was none of their business and were actively”managed out” (executive speak for being bullied until you resign). The expat secretary had her permit renewed with no problem. The fact of the Caymanian applicant for the position, let alone her capabilities, was never properly disclosed. Two good Caymanians lost jobs in consequence. Two expatriates kept theirs. Get it yet?

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        • Anonymous says:

          A “good Caymanian” . What is the criteria of a good one? Just curious.

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        • Anonymous says:

          No one wants to get rid of a good secretary that they have been working with a long time. It does not matter that the replacement looks “just as good” or even better. This is normal. Your rules are not realistic because they are completely against normal human behavior. People are going to work around these rules however they can. That’s a fact that no laws will repeal.

          • Anonymous says:

            So you accept that the law is frequently broken, and that there is no or little enforcement on that issue, and capable Caymanians are unemployed in consequence? OK, now we can agree the basic problem, an honest solution and debate can start.

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        • anonymous says:

          Yes its called in-group preference. Happens a lot. The employer probably felt some obligation to this expat secretary. This is why rollover should be brought back. It won’t bring about problems in terms of the employer feeling an obligation to expat employees as then it would be out of their hands. The Caymanian won’t have to stand up for his compatriot and then lose his job. The Caymanian applicant would have other opportunities as there is a continuous turnover of rolled over staff. This division in society here would be healed. I propose that rollover be brought back. There should be one permit approval for 2.5 years. Then a second renewal for 2.5. At the end of the 5 years unless you have married a Caymanian or have a Caymanian child you should be rolled over for a year. You receive your full pension and then you can come back after one year. If you are so needed as you claim then your employer will have your position remotely done. In the end this would have the effect of providing opportunities to locals; lazy HR and employers would have to do some work and prepare succession or train. Only expats with true skills and good qualifications would get employed and not some of the less qualified people we see today in these jobs due to being friends, compatriots of the manager etc. BRING BACK ROLLOVER 2018!!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Because they need solid, reliable employees to keep their business alive. Sadly, Caymanians continuously prove to be everything they hate to be described as. Business owners don’t want to fork out permit fees but are left with no choice if they want a successful business. Smaller businesses can easily hire all Caymanians as there are definitely some great ones out there. But if you need 10 or more employees for your business to run properly, forget it. Alden said it flat out, Caymanians have this entitled attitude. Hopefully some will smarten up and realize that attitude will get them no where in life let alone a pay check. They have no one to blame but themselves.

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