Panton: Work permit imbalance will be addressed

| 22/03/2022 | 180 Comments
Premier Wayne Panton at Friday’s press briefing

(CNS): Premier Wayne Panton appeared to be singing from a different song sheet than his deputy and labour minister on Friday when he said that the PACT Government might have got the balance between encouraging employers in tourism to recruit Caymanians and allowing those employers to access work permits wrong.

He said it was in the interest of government and the economy to ensure that private sector bosses get the work permits they need to properly run their businesses, but government may have been too keen to see local workers back on the job.

In the face of complaints from some leading tourism employers that they are not getting the permits they need to meet the growing tourism demand as the borders reopen, the premier said that in an effort to get the 1,700 or more unemployed local people back to work, the government might have got things wrong.

“We have to recognise, as a government, as a country, that the private sector needs the staff that they have to have to provide the products and the services that they are known for, otherwise it is cutting off our nose to spite our face,” the premier said in response to questions from Cayman Compass reporter Seaford Russell Jr.

The premier added that Cayman could not become known for a low-quality tourism product because there is no staff to provide the services.

“That… has to change. We have to make sure that, if there is a perception, if there is a view that there has been a slowdown in the accommodation of work permits for these individuals and for the business, we have to make sure it happens…” he said, as he pointed to the need to clear permit applications.

But just last month, Labour Minister Chris Saunders said that employers were not going to find it as easy to get permits as they had in the past. He said the slowdown in permit applications was a consequence of the government prioritizing Caymanians and ensuring that bosses no longer ignored local applications by cross-checking the data that WORC is now collecting.

“There is now an increased… vigilance… with regards to work permits just being automatically renewed,” Saunders said. “I know some people are used to it being done in the past but at this point, people have to recognise that there are many Caymanians out of work and… we have to go through a much longer process to make sure the jobs that are being renewed can’t be filled by Caymanians.”

However, the PACT premier took a slightly different tone on Friday when he said that it was important to ensure that the people were there to provide the services that add quality and value to the tourism product.

“It is always about this fine line of trying to make sure that you promote the interests of Caymanians as well as making sure the private sector has who they need,” he said, adding that perhaps this had gone the wrong way.

“Perhaps we have gotten the balance a little bit wrong; perhaps we have just been a bit too eager in trying to make sure that Caymanians got back in and were given fair opportunities. But we will make adjustments to try to make sure we strike the right balance and people who genuinely need those work permits will get them.”

Panton said that with stay-over tourism accelerating and cruise restarting, Cayman was at a point where government had to get the balance right. “Where we have not had the balance right, we are going to make sure we do a better job of that,” he added.

Panton noted that the government wanted to see more Caymanians working in tourism and it had a responsibility to provide the opportunities for them to be employed. He said that following discussions with key employers and as a result of government’s efforts, various hotels had held a number of job fairs.

But he said the government could not do the work for those unemployed Caymanians because they had to want to work.

See the press briefing on CIGTV below:

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Category: Business, Jobs, Local News, Tourism

Comments (180)

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  1. anonymous says:

    The tourism industry is falling apart and standards are being lowered by the day at what used to be world class award winning hotels. The PACT government ( Saunders, Seymour, Bryan and Mac) are working behind the scenes to screw over any business that survived the last 2 years of COVID hell. Meanwhile Premier Panton is running all over the island with an entourage of videographers and senior civil servants planting little trees. I saw at least 3 stories today, with Panton surrounded by PR people and a parking lot full of cars that brought these ‘tree huggers’ to the event. Sustainability? what a joke! Stop hiring high price consultants and do the job you were elected to do. Its been a year since PACT took over – the dump is just one example of the PACT’s epic failure. God help us!

  2. Anonymous says:

    As usual for the Panton-PACTless Clown Car, they are blathering about the issue, led by Chief Clown and Master Blatherer Panton. Panton “noted that the government wanted to see more Caymanians working in tourism and it had a responsibility to provide the opportunities for them to be employed”. HINT to Panton: This morning I noted that the alarm went off. But if I had not actually done something and gotten out of bed, I would have accomplished nothing today. Many past administrations have noted the problem but addressed it in a less then half-hearted manner. Providing “opportunities” for Caymanians to be employed is barely a start and noting worthy of a pat on the back: it is the minimum that a good and responsible government should be doing. Now, my suggestion is one that has been paid endless lip service over decades yet the issue remains the same: Government needs to ensure that Caymanians are given priority opportunity to receive the training and the on-the-job experience needed to secure a good job and advance in the field, regardless of whether it is tourism or construction, or real estate, to name a few. The slacking employers who can get a permit for a position have no real incentive to train a Caymanian to replace the permit worker. Many top U.S. corporations are seeing the value of work-experience training over degrees and years spent getting a piece of paper. They are seeing value in emphasising practical experience and job-specific training and internships as opposed to educational requirements and outside experience. Our government needs to mandate that stakeholder industries do their part to ensure that Caymanian are qualified to take the job when the employment opportunity arises. If this is not done, young Caymanians will continue to be put in last place behind experienced expats. All too often we see the employment ads with educational and experience requirements far beyond the job description. For the entry-level Caymanian–for example an ambitious dishwasher–to advance through the ranks, they must be given the opportunity to gain experience in higher positions if they desire to stay in the food-service industry. The fast and sure track to break the cycle of Caymanians not getting the job due to lack of experience and not having the experience because they can’t get the job, is to mandate a certain number of hours per week for an ambitious lower-level Caymanian employee with a good work ethic to be given the opportunity to gain experience by participating in on-the-job training or interning in a more advanced job that is being held by a permit worker. Permit workers should sign an understanding in their permit application that they may be expected to assist in the training of their replacement and promise that they will do their best when it comes time to help train Caymanian trainees/interns to replace them. Perhaps make it a recruiting requirement that preference will be given to permit candidates that have meaningful experience assisting in on-the-job training in their field. Having said this, few ambitious Caymanians will be found for jobs that pay poverty-level wages. Nuff-said. Again, lips service is paid to the minimum wage. If the cycle is not broken, well after I am dust in the ground, future administrations will be singing the same sad song that we are hearing from the Clown Car and have heard from all the past sorry-excuse-proffering administrations that have allowed the problem to continue and fester. Stop spouting pap and start doing something meaningful about the problem!

  3. Annoyed says:

    Let’s be realistic. Some jobs Caymanians just never want to do. Those are mostly low paying, unpleasant jobs; either with unpalatable hours, or what is perceived as demeaning work. Open up those categories to streamlined permits.

    As a former restaurant manager, I can tell you if you get a Caymanian dishwasher or kitchen helper to show up for even two days you are lucky.

    As I am now a retail manager, it is a lot easier to find people. It is an easier job, with better hours. Yet! It is still difficult to find people. Every Caymanian wants weekends off…our busiest time. Every Caymanian wants off at Christmas, also our busiest time. So let us have a percentage of permits easily. Say 20%, that would represent a fair balance. If you hire and maintain 80 Caymanian employees you get an pass on 20 permits.
    Just a thought. FYI, we have no permits.

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot speak for every Caymanian. I am a Caymanian that has worked in customer service, retail, and sales management for over 17 years.I worked weekends and holidays as well. As did the other Caymanians in the company. It is about the environment, training, and respect that you provide for your employees. Many businesses here treat locals horrifically to run them out of the company, to replace them with their foreign friends. I know of an expat who was granted status and said that was worst day of their life. Ever since they gained Caymanaian status they were treated poorly, passed up for jobs, and could barely survive in society. Those who feel it know it, so don’t speak on things you cannot understand

  4. Darlene says:

    With no disrespect. Just give out all the work permits you all want. And forget about our locals. Just remember or locals again in 2025.

  5. Anonymous says:

    One thing is true, employers are not contacting or interviewing Caymanians, Status Holders, and RERC, persons like they use too. The last five years a least.
    Not sure what they should do but something needs to be done.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I will say this, my educated to degree level Caymanian wife has been trying for a job with a decent salary ($2000 and up) for years. It is only recently she has had several interviews and offers of employment. Some of the employers have offered very low salaries of $1500 or less and we know why they do that. What pisses me off is that they won’t say the salary in the interview because they know the interview will end there.

      The government squeeze on employers seems to be working though. She now has a reasonable salary of 3k a month, she deserves a lot more but she is prepared to work her way up.

      • Annie says:

        This is a tough one. I got an easy BA in a liberal arts field. I couldn’t get a job anywhere. Overqualified to be a cashier, under qualified for anything else. I went back and now have have multiple degrees, but only one is useful in a scientific field. If you get a degree in an over saturated field like ‘marketing’ it really doesn’t add much value. If you get a degree in a STEM field, like engineering, medicine or physics you have a better chance.

        • round & round incircles we go says:

          Multiple degrees (?) from which University? 3-4 years for each, how old are you?

          • Annie says:

            I am 56. And to get my additional degrees I only needed 20 credit hour each, as I had my core 120 hours for my first degree in marketing. I went back and did only STEM subjects, and now have 3 degrees.

  6. Truth says:

    Plain and simple: Government did its part and as usual the ones crying feed me feed me did not do thiers. Time to let the industry be free to be as good as it can be for everyones sake. That million and a half a day for civil service pay checks has to come from somewhere and soon. If you couldn’d get a job out of all help and coertion then you didn’t want one in the first place.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The head of the business staffing board and I am paraphrasing here say, he cannot do his job that others before him have done because of the current state of the regulations.

    Looks like the lawyer with a unremarkable career is taking his stand on this issue. Panton better get his ducks in row or businesses will be heading for the border. No mention of CEC, I wonder why? If CEC is so beneficial to Cayman society why don’t we adopt it across the country?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow not sure we read same article? Permits and renewals are not guaranteed…..consider them temporary until either a caynaniam is foind or the holder becomes caymanian. Industry will not head to borders….it will hire managers as they had in past who can opetate in compliance with regulations. PPM is to blame for their entitled expectations.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Might as well give away jobs in this industry too….maybe tourism and financial servoc2e can turn out ligjts when they are finished with cayman….our electricity will already be cut off.

  9. Annoyed says:

    It is funny. I just thought about how much I believe in doing the right thing. Supporting freedoms. When I realized it makes no difference here. There is an oligarchy in control. They want their yachts. And small people have no voice. Thanks pact.

  10. Annoyed says:

    How is it possible that a Government in an alleged democratic country can completely ignore the will of those who elected them? I feel that I am living in a wonderland, run by idiots. Absolutely no one wants Cardinall Avenue closed…except who?! Shilling? Dart? Kirks?, all, or maybe none; but surely not the people who elected these doofuses.
    That we have no say in what our elected officials do is offensive. It is disgusting and it is wrong. We are Cayman. We might not have the funds to influence weak pols. But this is our country.

  11. Annoyed says:

    This is the first thing Mr. Panton has done that I can support. And the business I work at only hires Caymanians. For the last 14 years, we have had no permits. But some jobs are just unpalatable to locals. We don’t want to do them. So good decision.

    Now let’s agree that closing Cardinall Ave is a boneheaded idea, and only hurts Caymanians. And while we’re at it, flipping get rid of the masks, no one is wearing them correctly anyway. They are useless virtue signaling.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a lot wrong with this.

      1. Unpalatable jobs – I just read that as we’d rather starve than do a job we feel is beneath us despite us flunking in school.
      2. Closing Cardinall Avenue only hurts Caymanians. Does everyone else enjoy sitting in the traffic?
      3. Masks, was only a matter of time before something like that was brought up. You’re obviously one of the finest in the land.

      • Annoyed says:

        Okay, not sure what to think as that was hard to understand. Are you saying that due to substandard educational opportunities Caymanians are left with no option but to take unpalatable jobs or starve? Which is untrue, as I know many people double dipping on the Tourism stipend whilst working in another industry.

        Then on Cardinall Ave. you seem to agree it is a boneheaded idea.

        Then on masks, vague.

        So no comment.

  12. Anonymous says:

    They can say what the want to keep people happy temporarily but lets face it, does anyone have any faith that these people can do anything?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I think that the most recent Caymanian governments have to be the most inadequate, self-serving, incompetent and, frankly, thickest people to have ever held power. I mean every single decision they make is illogical or likely to exacerbate the situation and they just keep careering into problems and then realise they need a ‘consultant.’

    I mean how long did they have to plan this Cardinall Avenue nonsense before the cruise ships came back? I can’t get my head around it. It’s like they almost want to wreck everyone’s quality of life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. Wayne has carefully cultivated his slightly bumbling, cuddly,man of the people image but i also hoped for competence and strength when making the hard choices. I can’t think of an instance since pact came into government where a decision has been which had the backing of the majority of the people. Its simply reverted to what has come before, self serving elites feeding at the trough.

    • Annoyed says:

      No lie bro

  14. Anonymous says:

    Exactly! They don’t have their families here. And they can feed their whole family back home because everything is dirt cheep there, hence sending it all back and living in clusters of 10. You people really don’t care how we live in our own country. Now Caymanians must live like philipinos. Get the heck out of here!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. But not only Filipinos.
      Many other nationalities live like that here, but they have no insurance Bills, mortgages and extended family responsibilities as locals do, to be fair.
      Just pay them more.
      At least keep up with Cost of Living over the past decade.

    • Anonymous says:

      If only Caymanians worked like Filipinos… though then I guess we wouldn’t have this problem

      • Anonymous says: as *Slave.
        How many great guest workers have been used and abused, then refused and sent home?
        On such dear Filipina doomestic is sick right now after a massive physical breakdown.

        • Anonymous says:

          Your point is that Caymanians are also terrible bosses…? Not just terrible workers?

          • Anonymous says:

            Do only Caymanians take out permits?
            But you are indeed correct.
            Caymanians are some of the biggest abusers of Work permit holders!!

            • Anonymous says:

              Every company must be majority owned by a Caymanian. So yes – every permit has in some part been taken out by a Caymanian. Excellent use of doofus though, didn’t know that was a word that was used outside of comic strips

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are looking for someone to blame. Try the private bank called the federal Reserve who printed trillions of $ from nothing to save themselves, dumping inflation on the world.

      • Annie says:

        I agree that the fed policy was irresponsible. But that does not absolve our moronic government of their completely insane, uneducated, horse $hit behavior.

      • Econ teacher says:

        The Federal Reserve is not a private bank. It is the FEDERAL bank. As far as printing money, that does not mean printing presses are running, it means low interest rates are used to garner investment and promote the free flow of capital. If you have a floating rate loan, over the next two years, your projected interest rate will rise from 2.5-3%. If you rent, landlords will raise your rents up to 25% more to deal with costs. Enjoy the past 2 years, because low rates kept you from going bust.

        • Annie says:

          This is a tough one. I got an easy BA in a liberal arts field. I couldn’t get a job anywhere. Overqualified to be a cashier, under qualified for anything else. I went back and now have have multiple degrees, but only one is useful in a scientific field. If you get a degree in an over saturated field like ‘marketing’ it really doesn’t add much value. If you get a degree in a STEM field, like engineering, medicine or physics you have a better chance.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Why bother says:

      While you’re at it, what about “those people” east of Cayman?

  15. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    Oh My here we go again. Another Premier claiming himself he is for his people. Yes 2 governments had 2 years to work on, and upgrade and make GT beautifull. And yes you missed a big opportunity to put your unemployed Caymanians back to work.Yet Mr. Premier Wayne Panton all your so called PACT Government has done is keep Caymanians down. We are still last class citizens in our own country. Why don’t you all just resign and set us Caymanians free. Once again PACT GOVERNMENT your are a PACT CLOWNS. Thankfully I didn’t vote for none of you. Shame, shame Mr. Premier. Maybe you and the Governor Mr. Roper should give us all Caymanians a huge early Easter bunny egg and resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you. PACT is just continuing the destruction of the laws and regulations developed over decades by smarter men/women that gave caymanians prioriy in their own country. It seems even the ones that benefited from those rules dont want the same for their people. WORC is no better than the slimy recruiters who have been abusing the system shile waiting to become citizens.

      • Anonymous says:

        Everyone believe they have the right to come here. Then get Status, then get fat off of Cayman, THEN protest further development.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hear, Hear, if the recruiters were “held to task” then the management jobs would be full of Caymanians with college degrees, but as always, try to “submit a qualified Caymanian” for ANY job over $50K and EXPAT will get their permit!?!

        This happens often with IT jobs, Accounting, entry-level banking??

        It is most shameful even in the local charity jobs? WHO is looking at the permit grants and “deferring the permit” until the Work Permit Board is satisfied that a local has not come forth? Instead… “courtesy” job interviews happen and WP is given to an expat?


    • Anonymous says:

      So who would replace them? Cayman has sparce recent history of ethical Ministers and the electorate is equally uneducated/uninformed/ignoring facts as they repeatedly elect a woman-beater who sits in a powerful position. How can Cayman complain of its situation when they are complicit to elect clowns. You got the circus you elected.

      • Anonymous says:

        The answer is to allow all citizens to run for elected office. The current system is akin to apartheid – creating 2 classes of citizens.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I did not listen to the briefing, however, the Premier (according to the article) should have stated that the first opportunity were given to locals and that did not work out, so the government had no other option than to ease the restrictions on permits.


    • Anonymous says:

      The Government pushes for first opps, but with no training prog until recent weeks.
      The hotels and restaurants also pumped in their permits with pressure but did not train or hire locals with will or intent.

      • Annie says:

        True, but CIG treats us as adversaries and leaves businesses out of the conversation. They don’t consider any sort of knock down effect from their idiotic actions.

      • Annie says:

        True, but CIG treats us (Caymanians) as adversaries and leaves small or non-major businesses out of the conversation. They don’t consider any sort of knock down effect from their poor decisions. None of them see the dominos. And the people and businesses have no recourse to stop their heinous behavior. Even when they know a decision is HUGELY unpopular and is unacceptable to all of the people they ‘supposedly’ represent…they still move forward. Why? Someone is getting money, this cannot just be they are galactically stupid. Is it because they think they are smarter than us? Just FYI, they are not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true. I know for a fact two major hotels were offered training late last year and there appeared to be low response and uptake by locals. Fact is that many Caymanians do not want to work in tourism. Another fact, the wages are not as low as assumed. Another major hotel pays nearly double minimum wage as a starting point plus grants and benefits. People need to stop assuming that what was still exists, and go and find out for themselves what is now being offered. Things are beginning to change but we get in our own way of making any progress.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Locals who actually came to apply and had the basic skills were probably hired. Now businesses need to move on to other options as the local employees are deplete of those that want to work. Easy Gov’t money=Easy decision to sit on Momma’s couch. Proof is in the pudding, Caymanians are not applying for jobs that work permit holders will take.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Were probably hired”. Not true, I know of several who applied and were denied because there “over qualified”. Such bullshit. I would rather an over qualified Caymanian that a dunderheaded foreigner who knows NOTHING about Cayman beyond tanning their asses

  17. Cheese Face says:

    I had friends just spend 2 weeks at the Ritz. They said “beautiful hotel, worst food I’ve ever had in my life”. You need to let companies hire the staff they need to keep up the standards people expect. If not they will go elsewhere, simples.

    • Anon says:

      Sorry to disappoint you but the chefs at Ritz are all non-Caymanian, always have been and probably always will. Nice try tho

      Every country in the world prioritizes their own people but you feel Cayman should put it’s people last. You need help

      • Anonymous says:

        Your post has nothing to do with the one you’re replying to. The chefs might be Caymanian, might be foreign, might be a mix but whatever they are they are not up to the job (I agree – Seven was a bad joke a few weeks ago). Unless there is an untapped pool of unemployed world class Caymanian chefs then these hotels need work permits ASAP or our tourism product is about to implode. Keep banging that drum of yours though.

        • Anonymous says:

          There are a lot of fantastic Caymanian chefs. If you stop foreign ass kissing, you’d see for yourself.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m sure there are but unless they’re also unemployed they’re irrelevant to the problem of filling current vacancies.

      • Anonymous says:

        You should have ended that with “simples” for the chefs kiss.

      • Cheese Face says:

        That was not my point you buffoon. There are not enough Caymanians qualified to fill all the positions needed, and everyone (with a brain) knows it. Caymanians should get priority, but they need to show up, smile, give a sh**…. you know the rest 😉

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey cheese curd.
          What you gonna do about it.

          • Anonymous says:

            As a Caymanian your attitude, presumably as a fellow Caymanian, is appalling and doesn’t help the situation.

          • Cheese Face says:

            You’re hilarious! I hope you do stand up in one of the hotels? (providing you are Caymanian).

            To answer your question, my hands are tied unfortunately. I voted in these clowns as I thought they were better clowns than the previous clowns.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to disappoint you but the chefs at Ritz are all non-Caymanian, always have been and probably always will.

        Sorry to disappoint your rant, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. I personally know four Caymanians who have worked in the kitchens at the Ritz. Now… two of them didn’t have the best experience working there because of the repetitive tasks they were given to do, but they worked there and were involved in preparing food. None of the ones I know still work there, but the two that had decent experiences – especially from a learning standpoint – have moved on to bigger and better things in the restaurant industry. The Ritz is a good place to earn your kitchen chops and move on, or to return to for a higher position once you’re established.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you are saying the Ritz doesn’t advance Caymanian talent. The good ones have to quit, go elsewhere, and then come back? You don’t see the problem?

          • Anonymous says:

            What Guido said. Also… there are many more non-Caymanians who flame out – it’s hard work and not suited for everyone.

        • Guido Marsupio says:

          Working in a kitchen is hard work – on your feet, hot pans, sweaty comrades. Read Kitchen Confidential if you haven’t already. You can move up the ladder if you work hard and have talent. It’s a long ladder but if you enjoy the work it is satisfying. I have done it, I know. If you think you want to sit at a desk and drive a computer it may not be for you. But there are real skills to be learned and maybe some creativity will be allowed if you do the dog work well.

      • Annoyed says:

        Food at the Ritz is meh at best. Before and after lockdown. Not worth the money, a lot of better places to eat. There are a rip off.

      • Anonymous says:

        Doesn’t explain why the food used to to be first class tho, does it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Food cooked by locals (not Indians or Filipinos) is delicious!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    So after 2 years of George Town being shut down and now reopening, Cardinal Ave is closed just as cruise ship tourists return and businesses reopen. Brilliant timing! Instead of paying stipends, having people stay out of jobs, CIG could have employed the unemployed to work on getting GT ready for the eventual reopening. CIG wanted businesses to hire the tourism unemployed and train them in other trades why didn’t they put them to work!

    • Anonymous says:

      Would they be willing to do that work? Just asking. Not sure they would. Doesn’t pay enough and it is really hard work! Definitely underpaid.

      • Anonymous says:

        You know what? Any work is good work when you don’t have a job. Do this to put food on the table and look for something else while you do. Quit looking for handouts all the time because you are looking for the “perfect” job. There are lots of us that took lesser jobs until we found a better paying one that matched our skills. That means retail, fast food, etc.

        • Anonymous says:

          Any job is good work when you don’t have a job? Morally yes. Economically no. Not whene the job pays less than you would get from not working and taking the stipend and NAU aid.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I remember at the last election there was an opportunity for a fresh start, changing of the guard, a chance to have a champion for the environment, a opportunity for someone to take the reigns of the cruise ship bedlam, and put in place an indomitable force to deal with the over development, – and then Wayne got in.

    • Annoyed says:

      He literally chose to close Cardinall Ave, rather than save the coral! We need a waste treatment policy, especially for GT. Duh. Everyone wants to save our environment, no one wants to close Cardinall. Things that make you go hmm, hmm, hmm.

  20. Anonymous says:


  21. Anonymous says:

    Now that you’ve broken the ice Mr Premier, anything else you’d like to be forthcoming about that PACT has got wrong ? 🧊 🔨

  22. Anonymous says:

    So, Mr. Premier, you are saying that rather than shutting down businesses that are known to have treated Caymanians terribly, that import foreign labor at derisory wages, and that refuse to serve local customers, you are facilitating them? Just checking I understand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Facts! All around us now.
      This is the new Gold Rush for Cayman, but the reimpoverishment of its people.

      • Anonymous says:

        People should learn to catch up. The world doesn’t owe anything to anyone. Either you progress and advance, or you are left behind. If people from elsewhere can, what stops a big lot of you? Entitlement ruins opportunities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most business on island owned by Caymanian! Why do we treat our own so poorly? Why do they treat anyone poorly. Maybe close any business down that does not pay a living wage to anyone, or does t pay pension, or breaks the law. Of the ownership is cleaned up, maybe Caymanians will take these jobs!!!

  23. Annoyed says:

    Everyone in this government failed Econ 101. Have never seen such idiocy in all of my days. It it terrifying how inept this government is. It is truly shocking.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs to explain to Saunders that Opposition politics does not work when you are in cabinet! Nice to talk about stopping permits when you are not running the show!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats not Opposition tactics. Thats stupidity tactics. Chris has had a stupidity chip on his shoulder for years. He cant change but the country will pay the price.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If you send someone to my business to take a job from someone who has been doing thier job for over 2 years, they need to be educated or have proper experience in the field. I am not a school. Train your own people by funding post secondary education.

  26. Anonymous says:

    684 teens will graduate from public and private high schools this season.
    Where are the entry level jobs in ANY industry, if companies can pay an expat with a degree LESS than they would pay a fresh school leaver?
    Stop it.
    Plus no pension payments require for 6months permits.
    Stop it.
    Plus not paying overtime and holiday/sick pay to permit holders.
    Just stop it.

    • GT East says:

      WORC are working there way through the thousands of bogus permit holders working for companies that only hold the permit and not employ them .this is years of abuse of the system .
      So now we have a workforce on permits that are no good or fit for purpose .and we have young caymanian kids that will never get the right training or encouragement to enter the workforce …we reap what we sowed

      • Anonymous says:

        WORC are useless….their mandate since Sherry”s early involbement was to make it easier and more streamline for companies to abuse the system. They are allowimg the same abuses that for years were punished. The government has sold out to financial services so if you’re looking for job or promotion there GOOD LUCK!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Make GSCE and A- Level subjects that deal with Tourism and Hospitality mandatory in the schools; that would be a start Panton, then there might not be such a problem finding locals to fill the positions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or just improve UCCI hospitality program. People teaching have no business teaching hospitality. They have no clue. The students never stood a chance. Why does the government not mandate a partnership with the school and the hospitality community. Every other hospitality school works with the industry. UCCI does not. I tried to work with them but the students literally know nothing coming from the school. By the time they are on a placement, they should know how to greet a guest, carry a tray, make a bed, book a reservation l, be able to read a P and L, understand basic inventory system. Instead they know…. Not sure what they know tbh!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mandatory tourism A-levels? Way to aim high. Why not maths, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, English, law?

  28. Anonymous says:

    At this point, there are so many vacancies, and employers SO desperate for staff, that if any Caymanian is still unemployed, it is because they don’t want to work or they are unemployable for some/multiple reasons.
    When the government gives away so much free money for not working, where is the incentive to get off your ass and earn it?

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      100% correct. I can think of three restaurants/bars off the top of my head where the bartenders/servers make over $50KCI a year (including the included gratuity and anything people leave over that). They are desperate for people and would happily hire Caymanians.

      If that isn’t a sufficient income for someone without a degree I don’t know what is.

  29. Anonymous says:

    PACT is a joke. They cannot even agree on the policies they set! Panton and Saunders are obviously on opposing sides and the circus continues.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Wayne. If you want people to work, you need to stop paying them not to, especially if the pay not to work exceeds the pay for working. If salaries are too low, increase the minimum wage. Especially for imported labour. It is madness to bring people into Cayman if it is known that they can only exist here below the poverty line.

    • Anonymous says:

      Make the Hotels pay the minimum wages of 6 ci per hour plus tips, then more Caymanians would work there.

    • Annoyed says:

      I totally agree. And anyone received a stipend should have to do at least 20 hours of community service per week. No sitting at home watching tv all day getting free money. And proof of looking for a job. Our Government is so back a$$wards it is frightening.

  31. John Crease says:

    The premier doesn’t seem to be at the driving wheel here. Who’s really running the government?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Let me offer an interpretation using my hyper-digixml, pseudo-politico, uber-translating, truth machine.
    Cost me a bloody fortune, I might add.
    After running it for a few hours, it came up with a result. Here is the translation. “Work permit imbalance will not be addressed.”

  33. Anonymous says:

    Lived here on and off for 18 years, own property, business etc and am fighting to get my permit renewed because they want to give my job away to someone that couldn’t even give a damn about showing up to a job interview.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Work permits should be revoked for dangerous establishments like Lillies and Casa. These ares a nuisance!!

    • Anonymous says:

      4:10, With that hypothesis anyone who attends these premises should be in HMP Northward by default then too right?


    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe we need to consider banning the nuisance Caymanian youth who frequent these establishments. Oh wait. We Caymanian do no wrong. Back to sleep then.

      And you can hold the paper comments, my navel string buried in North Side.

    • Anonymous says:

      The dangerous establishments should be revoked!

      • Anonymous says:

        I think all commercial and residential buildings in Cayman must first pass inspection before occupancy, so how are these establishments dangerous?

        Maybe the people who frequent them are the problem?

        Close the establishments they currently frequent and voila a change of behaviour?

        Get outta here with that foolishness

  35. Anonymous says:

    Labour Minister Saunders et al may be genuine in wishing to give Caymanians prime employment opportunities but the reality is, as Mr. Premier et al (including Finance Minister Saunders) know, Government’s coffers depend on those work permit fees. Double-speak is nothing new to politicians.

    So guess which sentiment wins?

    • Anonymous says:

      The cost of tourism work permits are derisory. They literally cost more to administer than government gains in revenue. The profits are from financial services permits.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Anyone been to the Ritz lately? The service is absolutely terrible!

  37. Anonymous says:

    The last line of that story is the most telling…..’they had to want to work’ but why would you when you can get a stipend for the rest of your life? Face it Cayman, local workers don’t want to be in the tourist industry. We need the overseas staff to work in our hospitality industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it’s a race to the bottom…see you import low wage workers, business get use to them and so they won’t train (expense) and won’t increase wages. Its not black and white, all sorts of shades and some throwing it. Maybe an hourly tax against payroll as part of the work permit fee. Say an additional $6 and see what the effect of that is…maybe more Caymanians trained or higher wages ? If nothing Govt coffers filled to build all the roads for all these new ppl

    • Anonymous says:

      Stipends must be coming to an end now.

  38. REB says:

    So they for the working people?

  39. Anonymous says:

    This situation is really not that complicated – no caymanian wants to work for such low wages – you can’t live on that salary – increase the pay for tourism workers and pay a real living wage and more Caymanians will take the jobs. This is not rocket science.

    • alaw says:

      3:16 At the same time you are saying, try 0 wages over low wages

    • Anonymous says:

      yet many philipinos here live clean, honest, modest lives here on that money and manage to send most back home.

      • Anonymous says:

        apples and oranges

      • Had to be the one didn't you? says:

        Okay 7:03
        1.Don’t try starting a separatist thread on an article that is addressing a problem for everyone. Time and place buddy.

        2.Take a good look at your comment and take a truth check.
        We will all wait.
        Those that live honestly, constantly struggle to make ends meet. That is truth.
        Those that give a bad name by stealing, have enough to send home.
        You can fact check the
        communities on that, they will honestly tell you about so and so who did what where.
        But you 7:03 can be free to try being in their shoes by living with 6 other people and their spouses in one apartment/home with no privacy whatsoever and then let everyone know how hard it is to afford living here, much less on that ridiculous wage you are getting all puffed up and preaching about being enough for all to live on.
        By all means, keep crowing.

    • tom says:

      3:15 Its not rocket science, you have to start at the low wage job and work your way up. Nobody is going to hire you as a rocket scientist unless you are qualified, and being qualified does not mean Caymanian, it means you have experience and/or training.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premiet, thank you for making sense of all this nonsense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wayne, you are 100% to blame for this situation because of your desire to be Premier. Something no one saw coming and no one wanted but I digress.

      These clowns that you have formed a government with have no idea what they are doing and the country is suffering. However, I do agree with you that Caymanians have to want these jobs. This is not a new problem. Yes, the wages may be low but the tips are great if you are good at your job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fire, read, aim that’s PACT critical path to making decisions. OMG

  41. Anonymous says:

    He has confirmed the instability within this government. None of the ministers is on the same page.

  42. Anonymous says:


    Frankly, with all due respect, what is happening in Cayman, year after year, is like never ending Comedy Night.

    By the way, seeing a convicted criminal sitting and smiling among Youth Parliament (Compass 3/15) was not only all time low for Cayman, but it is an insult to the victim of his crime.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Don’t stop the carnival!

  44. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if it’s a lack of work permits or just a lack of practice but the service up and down SMB is an absolute disaster at the moment. If I was a visitor paying full price I’d be really unimpressed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know, right! I’ve experienced increasingly Rude, Poor Service at restaurants for months now.
      These are all permit holders too.
      The few local workers at PDs etc give great service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have to agree! I thought my two experiences were isolated but it doesn’t seem so.

  45. Anonymous says:

    If you defer 10,000 permits, yet only have 1,700 people out of work, then yes, you have the balance wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      10,000 work permits for Tourism??? WTF..Are you kidding me..We are at less than 50% with tourism numbers, just got our first cruise ship and high season ends at the end of April..things that make you go hmmmm..

  46. Anonymous says:

    Time is up.
    Permits have been put on hold for many months.
    Let’s get cracking

  47. Anonymous says:

    pact…another clown-show government the repeats the myth of caymanian unemployment…..

  48. Anonymous says:

    another bad day at the office for pact and wayne….

  49. Anonymous says:

    PPM and PACT have been allowing the private sector to abuse the system to the point where government now feels it necessary to beg industry to give Caymanians “equal opportunity” in their own country. I pity any un or under employed Caymanian out there that is hoping for that position or promotion under this government. I believe Panton and Saunders are actually weaker than Alden…he was just looking for knighthood and a nice retirement package.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier surely you remember when all positions related to permit applications had to be advertised in the newspaper for 2 consecutive weeks?

    • Anonymous says:

      And who reads a newspaper nowadays? It’s all online.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember when Caymanians had a priority in our own country? Now PACT is begging for “equal opportunity”

    • Anonymous says:

      Now they’re advertised on WORC for 2 weeks. What’s the issue?

    • Anonymous says:

      They still have to be advertised for at least 2 weeks, but now it’s on the Jobs Cayman site which is linked to WORC. All the ads are vetted by WORC before being approved and published.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup just like I remember when Radio Cayman started broadcasting, when there was no Internet, when we had to get an operator to connect international calls….the list goes on.

      All beautiful memories…..

      Let’s keep them that way!

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