New Immigration system

| 16/02/2009

The new immigration accreditation system for work permits is a welcome improvement. But if we implement the changes in isolation we would be doing a disservice to Caymanians.

The new changes to the work permit systemseem to be a step in the right direction. It introduces a better system to ensure accountability on the part of businesses so that the Caymanians can secure a better quality participation in the work force. The new system also displays greater certainty for businesses with respect to their work permit applications.

Finally, the new system seems to introduce more "carrots" to firms to recruit and train Caymanians. By providing businesses with greater certainty and fast track approvals for their work permits, the firms have additional incentives to add to the already strong commercial reasons that are already there for hiring Caymanians.

But the new system brings with it the issue of additional costs of implementation and, of course, compliance and enforcement. It will also take some time for the system to work smoothly and we should expect that there will be new issues surfacing as it starts to work.

More importantly, though, the success of the new system is also limited to the overall policy framework in which it is implemented. Ultimately, if the main objective is to ensure that Caymanians who are qualified get their rightful level of participation in the work force, then this requires a comprehensive effort on several fronts, encompassing education and training and a national human resources strategy among others.

The point is that while the system appears to represent an upgrade to the work permit system, we should not expect the new system to do much more than bring some increased accountability to the hiring and training practices of businesses. And that assumes that we are in a position to implement all of the required compliance and enforcement functions to ensure that this objective is achieved.

On the other hand, if we place our focus simultaneously on training and education we would actually increase the value of the new upgrades to the work permit accreditation system because it would give more Caymanians a genuine opportunity to maximise their full potential.

In other words, not only should Caymanians receive their rightful preferential treatment in the work force (all other things being equal), but they also deserve an effective policy framework which provides them with access to education and training to ensure that, in the majority of cases, all other things are actually equal (or better yet, that more Caymanians possess globally competitive skills).

Achieving some improved accountability with the new immigration accreditation system would be a good result, but it will take a more comprehensive effort to fulfil the goal of maximising the participation of Caymanians, whether this is measured purely in terms of them having access to jobs or securing more upward mobility.
 

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (3)

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  1. Zoran says:

    Nice article Paul, I agree with the above two posters. downloading moviesplay roulettepoker websites

  2. Anonymous says:

    good to hear someone finally acknowledge the great work of franz manderson. I think people are always taking negative about immigration and they miss the importamnt contributions that people like franz makes. btw that is NOT an endorsement of the government…only Mr Manderson.

    Civil servants rule!

  3. Anonymous says:

    we have been saying this for a long time. but to date there is still no focus on the education aspect..

    we do need the work permit system to protect caymanians. but I agree we also need more than that.