Rewards for hiring Caymanians

| 02/10/2008

(CNS): The Immigration Department is looking at developing a reward system for companies that have consistently committed to training and hiring Caymanians, according to Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson, who said that authorities have intensified investigations of employers who break work permit rules and, in so doing, deny locals desirable job opportunities.

However, the CIO also advised young Caymanians to earn appropriate qualifications to ensure that they can compete in the labour market and take advantage of employment opportunities, GIS reports.

Speaking at the Immigration district evening public meeting held recently in North Side, Manderson noted that his department and the Immigration Boards are working hard to ensure that more Caymanians benefit from the Islands’ economic prosperity. “Our goal is to see more Caymanians being trained for positions, including senior level postings in our workforce,” he said.

While applauding companies that provided employment and training opportunities for local people, Manderson said others left much to be desired. As examples of good corporate citizenship, he cited several law and accountancy firms, as well as the Tortuga Rum Company, which recently announced two scholarships for Caymanian employees. The CIO emphasised that his staff and board members are working to ensure that positions advertised are legitimate and that companies have exhausted all efforts to find Caymanians to fill vacancies before they are offered to foreign nationals.

“We have probed cases where businesses use misleading advertising. For example, a company may say it needs a clerk, when in fact it needs an accountant,” he said, adding that such deception usually aims to avoid paying higher work permit fees. Manderson noted that these falsities also cheat citizens who might have applied had the correct positions been published.

“When an advertisement appears for a particular position and when a company submits a request for a work permit for certain positions, my staff and both the Business Staffing Plan Board and the Work Permit Board investigate whether any qualified Caymanian is available to fill the vacancy,” he added.

Turning to the responsibility of Caymanians, Manderson asked, “We could eliminate all 25,000 work permits tomorrow, but what would be the point if there are no qualified Caymanians for these positions?” On a related matter, the CIO voiced his concern about the number of persons in the country on work permits but without work. He asked Caymanians and other employers to inform the Immigration Department of the change in employment status of workers no longer employed by them, and to be honest when filing applications for permits.

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  1. Rodney says:

    I agree with Kerry Horek, this is the only country in the world that guarantees a non Caymanian 7 years of employment.  This is a prejudicial, biased and lopsided provision in the Immigration Law.  I have to wonder who the major players were in inacting this policy into Law.  I am summing this up as another ploy to take the remaining true Caymanians in this country and bury them into slavery.

    The Cayman Islands has now become a country that hates it’s own people and since there are so little of those of us left we have no say, and those who are in power are simply clueless and only doing their best to line their pockets with payoffs from the special interest groups so they can keep Caymanians buried in the mud.

    Conquer and divide……..that’s all I have to say

    • Anonymous says:


      While I share your concern regarding safeguarding employment opportunities for Caymanians, your interpretation of the 7 year term limit is not correct. It is a maximum (unless the employee is granted key employee status), not a minimum. Work permits are generally granted for three years or less and are then up for renewal at which time the Board (now, the Immigration Officers) must apply the statutory considerations. In addition, during the term of a permit it may be cancelled if, for example, the employee committed a criminal offence or has been dismissed by his employer. There is no guarantee of 7 years of employment.  I hope this clarifies it for you.  


  2. Anonymous says:

    The term "key employee" is derived from the Immigration Law and refers to persons employed on work permits and subject to control by the Immigration Law. Unless one is a key employee one will be subject to the term limits provisions, i.e. rolled over after 7 years. By definition this would exclude Caymanians.

  3. Kerry Horek says:

    Whilst I applaud the efforts of the CIO Mr. Manderson in ensuring that Companies are rewarded for hiring Caymanians, I have to wonder if there could be a further incentive afforded to these same companies for making Caymanains Key Employees.

    While everyone is focusing primarliy on making persons on work permits Key Employees in their organizations, I have to wonder where does this leave the Caymanian employee? Just as much effort should be exercised into making a Caymanian a Key Employee.  The Companies that adapt this policy should be given an additional reward for doing so.  Please offer Caymanians the same guarantees and to those who do, thank you very much.

    Kerry Horek