CIG aiming for full local employment

| 23/11/2017 | 45 Comments

(CNS): Among the Government of National Unity’s ambitions for the next two years, supported by its recently passed spending plan, is full employment for all Caymanians. According to various comments made by the premier over the last few weeks since he delivered the Budget Policy Statement, the creation of a new human resources department will be critical to that goal. The current overall unemployment rate among locals is estimated to be at around 4.3% and the forecast is for that to fall to 3.6% in 2018 and 3.4% in 2019. Government did not give the current jobless rate for just locals in the budget but stated that the predicted drop in unemployment is based on assumptions that more Caymanians will be in work next year because of amendments to the pensions law. 

According to the latest figures from the Economics and Statistics Office for the 2017 spring Labour Force Survey, local unemployment was running at 6.2%, with 1,277 locals without work. But another 827 Caymanians were counted as under-employed. In order to achieve full employment, the government will be looking for the rate of jobless Caymanians to fall below 5% and to ensure those under-employed individuals are given the opportunity to improve their situation, be it moving from part-time to full-time work or finding jobs that match their skill sets.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said that the government “wanted to ensure that Caymanians who are skilled, qualified and want to work are not consistently disadvantaged in the labour market”.  Although the shape and form of the proposed new government agency remains to be seen, McLaughlin has said that it will be the main administrative point for the processing of permits and will also have responsibility for the wider monitoring of the labour market and the workforce needs.

He said this would help build capacity and capability among Caymanians seeking to compete for jobs. However, during his budget statement and during Finance Committee, when the allocations for the new immigration ministry were scrutinised, he said it would not merely be an exercise of merging functional aspects of the National Workforce Development Agency and the Department of Immigration.

McLaughlin has stated that a “radical shift is necessary” if Cayman is to build effective workforce readiness skills among its people and create an efficient, fair and transparent work permit and permanent residency regime.

“Over the next two years, the Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration will roll out a programme of modernisation that will lead to legislative reform, introduction of technology to automate business processes, workforce development programmes and put in place an employer accreditation programme,” he said.

The premier also stated that the development of the National Jobs Clearing House will improve the transparency of the work permits process, making it easier for businesses and job-seekers to see all of the available jobs in the Cayman Islands. One area of focus will be the advertising of vacancies. The constant complaints that vacancy advertisements run by employers who already have a permit holder either in post or lined up will tailor those adverts to fit the existing employee or distort the truth about the job to put potential candidates off.

Almost $12 million has been allocated to human resource services over the next two years for its day-to-day operating expenses, from the processing of work permits to training for the unemployed, but an equity investment of more than $14 million has also been allocated to the ministry to establish the new department.

It will include extending the Ready2Work KY programme, a scheme to reward and recognise businesses that actively hire and develop Caymanian employees, and what the premier said would be the effective monitoring and enforcement of labour regulations, an area he has admitted has been weak in the past. Government will also be seeking to work with the private sector to increase work-based training programmes for the under 25’s, including apprenticeships, and to support workplace training and lifelong learning to ensure skills development keeps pace with technological advancement.

McLaughlin said that the development of the new department would take around two years but work was already well underway and officials were already looking at the expertise, talent and staffing needs  required to run the new agency. Speaking to Finance Committee earlier this month, he said the goal was not just to merge immigration and the NWDA and carry on with business as usual but to address “the pain points” and deal with the significant issues that are considered barriers to “optimum Caymanian employment”.

See the premier discuss the human resource unit plans below on CIGTV

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Category: Government Finance, Jobs, Local News, Policy, Politics

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is like the promise made by the ppm to construct a bike track and get the dirt bikes off the road. Wings flapping no birds flying

  2. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    100% employment isn’t a reasonable figure. of the 4-5% unemployed, if we can find jobs that the majority WANT TO WORK, then we can pare it down to 98% employed, or thereabouts.

    There is a certain segment of my relatives that are not employed, that are able-bodied and able to work, but CHOOSE to not do so. From their perspective, why should they?? They get their bills and a food allotment taken care of by NA, and they have zero incentive to better themselves. I was raised differently, so such a condition would be deplorable to me, and I would work my ass off to get off the CIG dole. Because it matters. Because being taken care of is also being controlled.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All the Caymanians hired for the Christmas clean up in Cayman. How does that work? These people work over Christmas but cannot work the rest of the year? Are they unemployed?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are not unemployed.
      Usually They will ask for 2 weeks off from the current employer to make ci$10 to do nothing. I am thinking to do the same.
      At this time of year for some business it is a good way to let them take a break.
      If we can accept the term “unemployable” the sooner we can understand the workforce we have in Cayman.
      This program works mainly for the unemployable and the imported poverty and imported uneducated that is still trying to take over Cayman.
      If some of these person even had an ounce of pride in them, they would at least try to earn the ci$10 by really cleaning up and stay off the phones, and the worst part about it is they go back to the hole they came out from and laugh about how stupid Cayman People are, such an easy way to make money.
      This program is not even to try to make Cayman “NICE” it is a way to hand out Government money in a kind of legal way. Nuff said.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is no local unemployment. The junkies and criminals chose to be unemployable, and the rest of the numbers can find employment whenever they want, it just may not be the work to which they believe they are entitled.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    there is no unemployment problem in cayman. end of story.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No unemployment problem in Cayman, but over 1800 on the indigent poor people list getting a payout from Social Services?

      Really!!!!!!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Filter out the junkies, the drunks and the criminals. Filter out those with health issues, including mental health issues that stop them working. Filter out those that refuse to take the many jobs available because they consider the jobs are beneath them. Applying these filters than the figure becomes at most negligible.

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  6. Floyd Butyon says:

    I wanted to comment on this article but I can’t. I got choked on all the smoke!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Alden is in fantasy land. Just inventing ways to spend more of the peoples money which will increase the size of government and very likely not produce any results.

    This money should be spent on education.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    100% employment will never exist, especially with such a generally low educated, unskilled and inexperienced workforce.

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    • Anonymous says:

      woah!…easy on the honesty….

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    • Anonymous says:

      100% employment doesn’t exist anywhere. Full employment on the other hand does and they are not the same thing. An introductory course in economics should be required for all elected members so they have a basic grasp of the terms they are spouting off about in an attempt to sound educated.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Not one cent spent in making the unemployable into an employable person. All money spent making sure some business is forced to employ them or else. Good plan. And not one cent spent on consultants. WOW!

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Great, Kirky can finally get that job he’s been waiting for.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Remove the unemployable from the statistics and whoolaa, mission accomplished. I assume my cheque is in the mail?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I heard a good idea the other day to help address Caymanian unemployment. Start a social media campaign to name and shame any local business that isn’t at least 60% Caymanian staffed. Why should Caymanians help to support a business run by people that won’t hire them? Why give your money to someone that doesn’t support his/her own community? Take your money elsewhere and put those that don’t hire Caymanians out of business.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We already have those pages, Cayman Marl Road, classic rumor spreading,fake news page, IACWAMR, KT and her crew get off on spreading lies and already boycott a bunch of businesses(although I am sure her those businesses are not too upset about not having their support), Cayman Islands Facebook News Page, just another opinionated fake news page created by same crew as IACWAMR. Really don’t need another considering all the admins of these pages all fight and try to outwit eachother not realizing what fools they are making of themselves. No one takes any of them seriously so adding another Facebook page complaining about the same is pointless. The Sandy’s and the KT’s have proved time and time again that their so called “advocacy for their people”, has been a complete waste of time as none have any class whatsoever. Another social media page would be exactly that, waste of time, no class. Make your choices and support who you want to support and who you feel deserves your business. Relying on gossip to tell you to do so is just stupid.

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    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      You understand that the entire Caymanian workforce does not begin to approach 60% of the number of jobs in Cayman, right? That there are over 25000 work permits in issue? So you want to “shame” business that couldn’t employ Caymanians for 60% of their positions simply because there are not enough Caymanians to go around, even assuming they were in a business where there are suitably qualified Caymanians available who are prepared to work in that industry? That sounds fair.

      Why not name and shame the politicians who don’t deal with the real problem – structural unemployment because the education system hasn’t equipped Caymanians for the jobs available, a hand out system that means for some of those on NAU relief they would actually be worse off taking a minimum wage (set by politicians) job and working than doing nothing, and a complete failure to enforce the existing regulations on work permits to ensure employers follow the rules?

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    • Anonymous says:

      When only slightly over 40% of the private sector workforce is Caymanian, how is that going to work?

      And, for every company that has more than 40% mathematically there HAS to be one with less than 40%.

      What I think would make sense would be benchmarking companies against other companies in their sector and rewarding companies that outperform their sector by lowering their fees in some way and charging others more. But it as to be sector by sector or it just wouldn’t be fair. Chris Saunders suggested something along these lines.

      You also have big companies like Dart and the big financial firms with deep pockets paying big salaries and hoovering up Caymanian talent so that small companies don’t have a chance of competing. You have to factor that in somehow.

      The right approach is using market incentives and disincentives. Any attempt to force companies to do this or that will just drive them away and destroy Caymanian jobs rather than creating them.

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    • Rp says:

      So where are you going to pump your gas, fix your car, educate your kids, and buy your food dude?

      Good luck to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then we also need to create a social media campaign to name and shame those employees that waste time, steal, call in sick after a night out. And so forth.
      You name it we shame it.
      I have walked into hardware store and seen the most miserable and lack of interest on the face of Employees, If I was them I would sell out and move to another district as well. (just saying).
      No employer should be forced to have such bad representation for their business front. Then we turn around and say we have to name and shame the employer? For what reason? Because the company cannot fire this type of individual, after all the person was hired as a cashier and is not forced to smile or greet or anything that is not listed under the contract.
      No company has the intention to offer bad service to the customers. They are forced to hire persons that should never be on the front lines.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Zero unemployment exists nowhere except communist states….although the rest of his comments are quite sensible.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Make it easier for small businesses to create more jobs.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    ‘the government will be looking to ensure those under-employed individuals are given the opportunity to improve their situation, be it moving from part-time to full-time work or finding jobs that match their skill sets’. I find this alarming. I know of govt and private sector employees who have been terminated because of performance related issues (including just being plum crazy!). They are now looking for jobs to match their skill set but they are liabilities and create havoc in the work force. I hope Govt and their respective depts. will bring balance to their mandate which means 100% employment is unrealistic anywhere in any country.

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  16. West bay Premier says:

    The best promise I heard in a century that went in one ear and came out the other .

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you opposition, thankful, thank you Mr. Suckoo for continually sounding the clarion call for us. Now we all must monitor what happens going forward.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    yeah yeah…all heard that before….in 10 yrs time all going to be here is dart….politicians ….and …100k service persons from the world poorest countries!!!???

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  19. Anonymous says:

    It is a very simple exercise to get everyone employed, create a department in government called, “Department of Unemployables”. Problem solved.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    If you believe this rubbish, I have a brand new cruise ship dock what causes NO environmental damage that I would like to sell you!

    How can the government make such a reckless statement when in the budget debate the Premier made it clear that this Government has no problem with handing out work permits and PR to all?

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    • Anonymous says:

      And the same how they can grant temps on trials basics, why not hire the school leavers on trials. Oh any old excuse will do.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Have you seen your barely educated, monosyllabic and generally uninterested school leavers recently?
        There are many good kids on this island, but believe me they are being hired in the sectors that need the talent, not in positions that attract temp permits in the first place.
        Sort out your education and training first, then the balance will correct itself. School leavers need to be prepared to go on to college and university, not settle for mediocrity, poor wages or handouts.
        That may mean that they will leave the island to get high level education, training and experience, but that’s the price they must pay to compete in a global economy.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    idiots….full employment is impossible…. even in the most successful economy you will always have around 3% unemployment…..

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    • Anonymous says:

      Full employment and 100% employment are different things. Full employment is achievable whereas 100% employment is a pipe dream.

  22. Anonymous says:

    How about a list of the actual types of jobs and the number of places for each so people can see what kinds of jobs are out there and be able to aim for them.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Smoke and mirrors

    Until we start to properly educate and train our people and this includes trades and technical we will always be depending on work permits and cheap labour

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  24. Anonymous says:

    3% unemployment is a fabulous number. Full employment is not possible in any society.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You mistake “full employment” which is an economic term used to describe the optimum level of employment for an economy and 0% employment which is made up and unachievable. “Full employment” is fully possible and should be the goal of every nation along with steady GDP growth and minimizing poverty. 0% unemployment is a pipe dream that politicians like to use to pick up votes

  25. Anonymous says:

    There we go again….trying to milk the bull.
    Unemployment will always exist. First they need to understand unemployment-voluntary, involuntary, in between jobs, business cycle unemployment, seasonal, changes in economy unemployment…
    Secondly, where are the trade schools and new business encouragement? The country could specialize in the production of high-end leather goods from iguana skin. The supply is free and endless.

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    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 11:22am I completely agree with your comment and they are trying to milk the BULL and fool everyone. The Premier said you wont see any effects for about two years . By that time he would be gone or need your vote and you gets another promise.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So the plan is to create another ministry which will likely be as ineffective as the NWDA. This seems to be a mere delay that will provide Alden’s benefactor(s) and all employers at a minimum an additional two years to continue circumventing the immigration regulations with common and obvious machinations. All this time hundreds more will receive PR at a rate to population not done anywhere else in the world. This guy is the most dishonest and dangerous leader you have ever had.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Crazy stuff that only makes sense to those that practice university of life caveman economics.

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  28. "Anonymousir" says:

    Alden McLaughlin … what a man full of empty promises.

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