Employment opportunities fall, lay offs increase

| 20/11/2009

(CNS): Employment opportunities are not as abundant as they once were, the director of the Department of Employment Relations has said, and the figures reveal that 56% of those looking for work have only a high school diploma. In a week when hundreds of workers were laid off at the school projects, a local law firm cut staff and more than 900 people turned up for wok cleaning roads, government was reminded this week that is has a serious employment problem on its hands.

Lonnie Tibbetts, the DER director, told New 27 that there are some 843 people registered with the department that say they are now unemployed and looking for jobs, and although this is a decline on its previous figure of over 900, he said he believes that there are considerable numbers of unemployed people not registered. Tibbetts said that the labour market is tighter than ever and those with a job should hang to it.

“Jobs are as not as abundant as they once were and we have a very rigid labour market,” Tibbetts told the television news, and added that those who were in work should bite their tongue and stick with it.

The minister with responsibility for labour, Rolston Anglin, said the first focus was to work with immigration and the employment department to ensure skilled Caymanians get the work as permits come up for renewal. He also said the unemployed need to be trained so they can take the jobs that are available. “We need to be focusing on them individually to ensure we are enhancing their skills to make them more employable so they can earn higher wages and take up some of the jobs that right now are not within their reach,” Anglin told News 27.

He also said the drive to attract inward investment was crucial and that the government needed to attract business and not chase it away to create more new jobs.

The extent of unemployment problems were highlighted by the premier in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, when he pointed out that more than 900 people in Grand Cayman had applied for the work which government had for cleaning up the island. He confirmed that only 300 were taken for the clean up project.

The current standstill at the two high school construction sites has seen hundreds of workers laid off and, with the exception of the work at Camana Bay and the proposed port development, there are few major construction projects in the pipeline that can absorb the significant number of local workers employed by that sector.

Leading local law firm Walkers let around 21 people go last week, a mix of both permit holders and locals. While unemployment among Caymanians may be a populist priority for government, with work permits down 17%, the loss of jobs held by foreign workers also presents a problem for government. Such declines in revenue could easily tip what is a finely balanced budget into deficit before the fiscal year end.  

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  1. livingcayman says:

    The Government can create jobs for people, Look at the hotels like the Hyatt and the Hotel in the Brac that was closed and not sure of what will happen to them I think the one in Cayman Brac was destroyed by Paloma but is being rebuilt, and the Hyatt has just become an eye sore.

    Turn these to Government runned facilities and let a majority of the unemployed work there.

    Someone made a suggestion somewhere that to build the schools they should use all the local skilled construction labour to build the schools, that is what I call simulating the economy.

    Come one folks/Government think.

    I have seen the hotel thing work at a hotel in Barbados and other Caribbean Islands why not Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it funny that Bush was in power when some of you were young enough to get a good education, acquire skills and move up the ladder. 

    It is your fault you elected a gentleman who hasn’t shown you the way through the last several terms he has been in office, and moreover I can’t beleive you can elect a public official that lost your money in a bank he ran..

  3. Claude says:


    As government grows bigger and bigger and increase its fees and duties in order to pay its civil servants and MLA’s, the private sector (Ritz Carlton, Fosters, Morritts, Hurleys, CUC,  et cetera…), will have to increase their revenues and cut their expenses. Most naturally, there will be increased unemployment from the private sector due to the global recession and this VERY LARGE government in need of monies to support it-self. 
    It seems like our political leaders don’t want to cut the operations of government and the civil servants, because they want re-election. But it is either government decrease for the private sector to increase, or the private sector decrease in order for government to grow "fatter." This is where Cayman’s economy is at, at this point of time! If government continues to get fatter, most naturally, you will see more lost of jobs, businesses, more regulations, and higher fees. If the private sector is allowed to grow without government interference – lowered duties, fees, privatization of certain government operations, and cutting staff dramatically, then with proper regulations, the private sector will be able to thrive and jobs created.
    But no politician as far as I know, wants to do this for the country! The essentials, such as, the Law Enforcement Services, Judiciary, Employment relations, Monetary Authority, and the Prison is really the chief essentials government here needs. Everything else would do Cayman well, if it was privatized and the private sector was left alone to grow. The ideal government would only monitor the private sector to ensure competiveness and Caymanians are not left out. Businesses will grow, because you will have a government that is well trimmed, and does not need to take so much from the people in order to survive (one reason why I oppose taxation).  
    We cannot allow our own politicians to administer good governance on the basis for re-election. Yes, the UK is involved and has recommended for us to adopt a tax-revenue base in order to maintain our "fat" government and a country of a deprive private sector, which we, could have produced more private businesses if only before Ivan we trimmed the civil servants and government operations. But no! Our politicians back then, refused to go that route, because that route was not a famous one. Now, the UK has asked us to adopt some kind of taxation, which would be more of a burden to the private sector and the people of the Cayman Islands. The day we tax, is the day we lose a lot of business and jobs. 
    You hear some (including Bush) say that the UK is conspiring to ruin our financial industry, because Gordon Brown / Obama is after the "tax havens" where UK and U.S. investors run to avoid UK/US taxations, and for a whole lot of other reasons. One thing is for sure, folks, even if we were to go independent some day or become less of a dependant territory for the UK, whether under Bush or some other Premier, the size of our government will increase and raise fees and duties against us. If you don’t have a free so-call market in the Cayman Islands, there will be many who will go hungry, and like the U.S., you will need a welfare state. I hope to God, we don’t get to that point! Adopting any form of taxation so government can control the tax-payers purse any time, would be a great injustice to the people of the Cayman Islands. Taxation is theft, folks! It is just legalized theft!  We have been a blessed nation so far, keeping God’s 8th Commandment (against stealing) and treating our banking clients well. We have not imposed taxes on them, and because of this, we have one of the best banking industries. 
    Pray that our leaders do what’s best for the country instead of what’s best for a vote!
  4. Vannin says:

    1) those who were in work should bite their tongue and stick with it."

    2) "56% of those looking for work have only a high school diploma"

    3) "more than 900 people turned up for wok cleaning roads"

    4) "He also said the unemployed need to be trained so they can take the jobs that are available"

    1) there goes freedom of speech.

    2) Being "only a high school graduate" how does that prevent them being employed in say tourism , construction, hospitality (or even as an MLA) There are plenty of jobs in Cayman that don’t need higher education as in any society

    3) shows you Caymanians are willing to work and not too proud to shy awayfrom more menial positions, really does question why more Caymanians aren’t getting hired in 2

    4) Yes, but can’t firms use money saved on a work permit when employing them to put against training courses? $7,000 a year is a lot of training.

    I can only assume the current unemployment is due to lack of experience in some of these jobs, and as companies are more cost sensitive in a recession, they have hiring freezes in place and are unwilling to risk money on inexperience.

  5. Anonymous says:

    "Employment opportunities are not as abundant as they once were, the director of the Department of Employment Relations has said, and the figures reveal that 56% of those looking for work have only a high school diploma."

    Does this then mean that a staggering 44% of unemployed Caymanians have post secondary qualifications and are therefore considred skilled labour? This is a higher percentage of qualified unemployed than in most developed nations.

    If so, how can this be if govt via the Department of Employment Relations and the Immigration Boards as well as the employers  are all pushing to have Caymanians employed, even if it means replacing some of the 24,000 people on work permit?

    The current system is not working.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In the past when the local economy contracted Cayman was able to export its unemployment by cancelling work permits.

     Isn’t it ironic that the first major unemployment crisis in Cayman is happens in the first recession after the status grants?

    Perhaps this is just a coincidence?

    Btw, the million plus dollars govt spent getting people to pick up garbage would have been far better spent on training/retraining.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    As an employer, maybe the DER and its Director can answer the following questions, as I am minded that the public is not being told the truth here:

    1- How many Caymanians have been referred and placed into jobs by the DER over the preceding 12 months?

    2- What were the job categories/positions that person were referred to with a break down on the amount of persons placed in each category?

    3- What is the criteria for the issueance of waiver letters from the Department?

    4- Is the above criteria the same across the Board, or do special persons and companies get preferential treatment from the Director and his staff?

    5- Are persons registered more than once depending on the type of work they are seeking?

    6- Why are persons being referred to jobs, when they do not meet the requirements set out in the job description i.e. master plumber/electrician sought and they refer a person who has no knowledge of what pvc pipe or a panel box is!!!

    I trust that we will get honest and forthright answers to the above.

    To the Hon Minister- you need to get into theoffice and get a hands on with excatly what is going on as I fear that you are being misled with some inappropriate stats. I voted in GT but I have every confidence that you Mr. Anglin will steer the ship right. Lets put the Labour Office back to where it was with its functions as in years gone by.

  8. Anonymous says:


    Mr Anglin – please – I know you are smart, you are ethical and you want your people to be gainfully employed – so start by cleaning up and cleaning out the DER.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can we get a breakdown of the unemployed Caymanians by number and qualification, skill set and industry? (900). This way we can target the jobs which are required.  It would also be good to know the various categories of work permit holders (22,000+)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to see hoe the UK is dealing with the same issue – less work permits:

    "The UK has introduced a points-based immigration system under which employers can recruit "skilled" workers from non-EU countries only if they cannot fill a vacancy or the post is on the list of shortage occupations."

    "jobs in construction and engineering (are being) removed from the list amid the recession"

    "Jobs on the list must be advertised to UK nationals for two weeks before being offered overseas, although this is due to be extended to a month later this year"

    Cayman’s regime is easy compared to that – and is certainly no worse. Is the UK guilty of apartheid too? Gordon? Anyone? I guess England has a "Mediocre Mafia " of its own. Outrageous that a Brazilian or Angolan not have equal rights to employment as an Englishman in England. Bastards! (or are they just like us?) 


    • O'Really says:

      Maybe you missed the all important " non-EU countries " bit in your enthusiasm to accuse the UK of apartheid. More likely you just didn’t know what it meant. As a member of the EU the UK is open to workers from all 27 member countries, plus Switzerland ( a non-EU member). 3 more countries will soon join the EU.

      Yes, non-EU citizens need work permits, but the UK is open to the entire population of the EU, nearly 500,000,000 people, who do not need permits. Can you name one country whose population can work in Cayman without a work permit? How about 26? 

      Any of the nearly 500m people could set up a business in the UK. No need for the equivalent of a Caymanian partner.

      Of interest too is that as a Caymanian, you can work in any of the EU countries by virtue of effectively being British. This is not a reciprocal privilege.

      Still think Cayman is " easy compared to that" ?

      The level of intelligent thought displayed in your post marks you down as an aspiring member of Cayman’s mediocre mafia, not quite good enough for it yet. You’ve got the required amount of venom though, so well done.


      • Anonymous says:

        O’Really – usually you avoid the venom. The point being made was that Cayman uses its work permit regime to prefer its own citizens. The UK (and Europe) uses its regime to prefer their own citizens.  Some expatriates accuse Cayman of Apartheid for this. That is wrong and insulting. Cayman’s regime is modelled after that in the UK – EXCEPT – in Cayman you have to advertise for only two weeks and if you want, CAN get a permit fora Filipino plumber. In the UK that is not permitted. We all have our own systems. We all need them – and ours is at least as fair and as reasonable as those where many of our expatriates originate.  


        • anon says:

          – EXCEPT in the UK you don’t get deported after 7 years and the UK you can vote.

          And "you’re UK aparthied includes 30 nationalities (if you include Scots, Welsh and N. Irish) whereas yours is only 1

          UK also accepts those citizens from British OT’s as well

          UK also uses a point system.

          That is a lot of differences, no?

          Anyway if the UK didn’t approve of Cayman’s immigratrion system, then they would change it. Don’t they have the final say


          • Anonymous says:

            If there are (say) 200 Nationalities in the world the UK excludes 170 of them. Cayman excludes absolutely none. You think the UK system is really fairer? Seems to me the Cayman system at least gives everyone a chance.  

            • O'Really says:

              This is, without doubt, one of the most difficult threads to follow on CNS, ever. So maybe this has caused the obvious confusion in your post.

              UK immigration laws, by virtue of the UK membership of the EU, permit the nationals of 27, soon to be 30, European countries to live and work in the UK without going through any immigration procedures, other than showing a passport when entering the UK. Cayman extends this facility to the nationals of no other countries.

              The UK applies immigration policies to non-EU workers, so these procedures are applied, using your numbers, to nationals from 170 countries. Cayman applies immigration policies to all 200 countries. I don’t know if this is a measure of fairness, but in the openness of borders, Cayman does not compare to the UK.

              • Anonymous says:

                Actually O’Rreally, I understand that the nationals of some 170 countries are not even eligible to apply for work permits in the UK in certain fields of employment. Cayman has no such blanket restrictions on anyone.

                • O'Really says:

                  True the UK has a tiered immigration system and for example, tier 3, for unskilled workers is currently suspended for non-EU workers. This still means some 440,000,000 EU citizens ( and the UK is still a sovereign nation so these are not UK citizens ) could theoretically apply for non-skilled jobs without needing work permits.

                  If you really want to compare how restrictive immigration policies are, tell me how many non-Caymanian workers have an automatic right to work here without a work permit in any line of employment?  Feel free to include in this number all those workers who at the moment would be excluded under the current UK regulations.

                  Just for the record, it is of course completely appropriate for Cayman to have an immigration regime which seeks to prefer Caymanians. The problem is not that it exists, but how it works in the real world and how it is abused.

                  Also for the record, that’s 1 "R" in O’Really!

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Thank you for engaging again. That theoretically leaves about 5.5 billion people that are not entitled to apply for UK work permits but can apply for Cayman work permits.

                    • O'Really says:

                      Well, only if all 5.5bn fall into tier 3. How likely do you think that is?

                      I see you are reduced to point scoring at the cost of thinking, so that’s it for me. It was interesting for a while.

        • O'Really says:

          True, but no-one said I was a saint! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Only from non-EU countries, hello??

      So 30 other nationalities have the same employment rights as an Englishman in England, so Cayman’s regime is far harsher.

      Add to that a non EU worker in the UK can also vote, as isnot deported after 7 years arbitarily.

      it’s not rocket science to spot the harsher policy LOL.



      • Anonymous says:

        Englishmen are Citizens of Europe. Caymanians are not.

        And when it come to employment rights being equal – tell that to the hundreds of Portuguese workers brought in to replace laid-off British workers. Your definition of "same" takes no account of reality.

        So … what would you say if Canada was the example?




        • Anonymous says:

          All Caymanians are eligible for a UK EU passport – the forms are available at the Passport Office here in Cayman.  Therefore all Caymanians have the ability to live and work anywhere in the EU.

        • anon says:

          "Englishmen are Citizens of Europe. Caymanians are not."

          Is there a point anywhere or are you just stating the obvious?

          "And when it come to employment rights being equal – tell that to the hundreds of Portuguese workers brought in to replace laid-off British workers. Your definition of "same" takes no account of reality."

          Seems to prove my point of foreign workers having equal rights of employment as the British workers, they are employed as they are better value for money. So unlike Cayman policies then

          "So … what would you say if Canada was the example?".

          Absolutley nothing as the OP compared the UK’s policies as worse than Cayman’s (Canada was not even mentioned)

    • Anonymous says:

      Brazil or Angola are not British territory.  This is.  The UK government is shocking in allowing abusing treatment of its own citizens.

    • Anonymous says:

      The English position is far easier to satsify for skilled workers and is much more business friendly.  More importantly those skilled workers will not run the gauntlet of being kicked out when they are established and productive.  It is the unimpressive low skilled upper-lower and lower-middle classes in England that comprise that nation’s Mafia of the Mediocre – the "white van man", The Sun reader, etc, as reflected in the removal of construction from the "automatically approved" list.

      • Anon says:


        Go tell that to all the skilled IT workers that have had their careers destroyed by the likes of ‘Bob Shawadiwadi’ that have been shipped from India to replace people in the UK. Those being replaced have been forced to train their replacement or face being fired with no redundancy; talk about being made to dig your own grave.

        The British Labour party have been encouraging this as, on the whole, IT people don’t support Labour, and, on the whole, immigrants, once they have been fast tracked into having the vote, do.


        • anon says:

          Hey don’t expats have to train their replacements? or is that an acceptable digging of one’s own grave?

  11. Anonymous says:

    "those who were in work should bite their tongue and stick with it."

    "56% of those looking for work have only a high school diploma"

    "more than 900 people turned up for wok cleaning roads"

    "He also said the unemployed need to be trained so they can take the jobs that are available"

    "government needed to attract business and not chase it away to create more new jobs"

    "The current standstill at the two high school construction sites has seen hundreds of workers laid off and, with the exception of the work at Camana Bay and the proposed port development, there are few major construction projects in the pipeline that can absorb the significant number of local workers employed by that sector."


    1. We failed to educate our people now we see the consequence.

    2. Governments policy is to now open the door to every and any wealthy individual.

    3. Our people are forced to show up for road cleanup duty while we have thousands of expats here doing work that ourpeople can do.

    4. Dart is the only loving soul out there who cares for the Cayman Islands – NOT!!!

    5. To He** with the rest of you the UDP is going to once again take care of their friends.


  12. Dizzy says:

    Government’s a mess


    Government claims to have the funds for these School projects so why is it that Tom Jones is still standing still? A – Tom Jones has solid groud to stand on that’s why.  

    It seems to me Government themselves are adding to the pile of unemployed persons’ if you have the cash then why not pay the outstanding fees insuring that unemployed persons will be back at work securing food on tables and bills paid. 

    As for the clean up crew – congrats to the hard workers out there” folks your doing a marvelous job the 10 bucks are well worth it along with the free meal/water don’t care what no body has to say’ make it been one of their own picking up trash from both Beach/Land side and walking miles on end they wouldn’t have the time of day to add in their two cents to say. 

    If ya don’t work they sit back and chat bout ya all, then when ya do work” God they still find time to chat …that’s Cayman for ya!

    As for Golden Palace-Camana Bay & the new Port development yeah lets wait and see the significant number of locals workers employed by these sectors. Mr. Tibbetts this is where you come into play with the title which you so greatly holds” make sure Caymanians who are qualified gets jobs first.

    As for biting ones tongue to keep your job” yeah you have to nowadays to ensure you have a job but once again here we are given the kind hearted employers the right to treat us how they want due to the fact we have to bit ones tongue….Boy ya can’t win for lossing but I guess biting ones touge gives you less work Mr. Tibbetts from fighting for us Caymanians. 

    Sound great Lonnie!


  13. Anonymous says:

    Heres a different way of looking at this very serious problem.  Cayman is only so big and can generate only so many jobs period.  It should be easy to see and understand that no matter what happens or what is tried there will only be so much work here on island.  There will only be so many people to feed and so many people to clothe so many people to shelter etc, etc.  It should also be easy to see that that number has either been reached or will be reached in the near future.

    The other side of the coin is that every year there are what? 200 more Caymanian youth that have no work experiance that need to start a job somewhere at the bottom to gain skill and experiance to bring them sometime in the future to a job that will provide them with the ability to take care of themselves.  Follow me so far?  Forget about goverment spending, deficits,expats verses Caymanian,for a minute.  Where will Cayman put these kids?

    The Goverment has tried to fix this by giving more Caymanians jobs paid with money that has already been spent.  A short term fix that is now causing its own problems and can not continue.  Immigration policies that make it hard to hire expats so the most Caymanians that the job market can handle has also peaked and now is causeing the lose of jobs.  Another short term fix that can not continue. And on and on.

    The size of the pie has stayed the same and will not get bigger.  The amount of mouths to feed has grown and continues to grow.  the ONLY way to fix this or even slow this down is to limit the growth somehow.  Too many people haveing kids that they themselves can not feed or teach responsibility to equals future disaster.  Goverment can not continue to feed those who do not contribute.  Goverment is already broke trying to do just that.  Takeing jobs from expats only work if they are replaced by a Caymanian that has the same skills, experiance and work ethic or the business suffers.  There are lots of low level jobs that expats have that require little skill other than the willingness to work hard.  Anyone who lives on Cayman understands why most people on Cayman will hire an expat over a Caymanian.  Before you start crying foul remember most of these employers ARE Caymanian.  Its not an Expat verses Caymanian thing.  Its an expected to work hard verses expected to not work hard thing that the past has proven true.  The key word is WORK.  The only way to change the current prospective is for our up and comeing Caymanian work force to prove otherwise.  Work hard.  Everyday.  Make your employers happy.  This is something every young Caymanian can do not only for him,herself but for Caymans future.  The other thing that will help is for Caymanians to realize that haveing kids that you yourself can’t care for is causeing most of the Countries problems and can’t continue if Cayman will have a future.  Come on Caymanians.  The only way we can have a future is if we ALL WORK for it and do our part.  The days of free handouts is over.  Or we lose it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Say what you may, but at the end of the day there are certain companies that are run by ex pats who would much rather threaten to move their business or cut off an arm, than hire a Caymanian.  They simply don’t even want to give a good qualified Caymanian an opportunity to prove themself.  Be mindful that not all that is said about Caymanians is true. There are many of us, Caymanians, out there who work hard or even harder than an ex-pat.  Sometimes it just as simple as the expat wanting to bring in a friend, a family member, or a former colleague to fill the vacant post.

      As for the "sense of entitlement" that is so often referred to: I can say that that is a bunch of bull.  Those  Caymanians who might feel  such entitlement are in the minority and are few and far between.  Many of us know that the only way to be successful is to work hard; however, we only ask that we be given an opportunity to do so. In fact, the persons who continue to utter that phrase use it as an excuse not to hire Caymanians. Afterall, if we can’t find work at home where are we to run to??

      • Anonymous says:

        Hint:  Don’t work for The companys that are run by expats or Caymanians who would much rather threaten to move their business or cut off an arm, then hire a Caymanian.

        Instead work for the Companys that are run by Caymanians or Expats who would much rather threaten to let their business fail or cut off an arm, then to hire a expat. What could be more simple then that?

          Unless you actually feel that you are "entitled" to all jobs on Cayman regardless of if an employer wants to hire you?

        The real problem is all the Caymanians who have the "sense of entitelment" that have made Cayman companys scared of simply trying to give a qualified Caymanian an opportunity to prove themselves. Be mindfull that a lot of what is said about Caymanians are true enough to have already made Cayman companys skepticle.  That is the real problem hard working Caymanians are up against.  It won’t get fixed by crying about it.  Just get out there and prove to your employer that Caymans can work hard.  That would fix it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if Cayman could somehow send all the expats home and still keep the same amount of jobs (not likely) There would still be in the near future a lot of Caymanians with no jobs.  This is the root of the problem already and no one can give a solution to it.  How can you tell people not to have kids even if they can’t feed themselves.  No country has figured this out yet and Cayman will not be the first.  All you can do is watch it happen and dream of the good old days when Cayman wasn’t drowning in unemployed and overpopulated people.  Or?

  14. Twyla Vargas says:

    POINT TAKEN, but will any consideration be given to Caymanians getting a job to put bread on their table for their families?  It is a hard road to travel and a long, long, way to go.  I sincerely believe that we are on our last lap around the field now, and those that are in authority to help caymanians that are in need ad suffering needs to consider doing just that in these times.  If not, believe me, in one years time we are going to have crime on the increase.  Is that what we want no…. well then do the right thing.  Everyone will be at risk trust me.   if yhou are not out there with the bad, good and ugly, you will not dream of what is being planned.  Do the right thing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Another thing DER needs to look at is these jobs advertiding in the paper with no name and only a P.O. Box address. That seems a little fishy to me. Why try to hide who you are? How can a person apply for a job without knowing who its for?

  16. Upset says:


    1. “Employment opportunities are not as abundant as they once were” ?? This happens all over the world with the increase in machines and computers, so what’s the point? Can I ask where the work is going in Cayman? I know that a lot of companies are downsizing and cutting costs, but then we have had such a steady increase in work permits, I wonder what these people were coming here to do, if not work? Many employers are being cheap and biased laying workers off when they know that they do not have to.
    2. “Those in work should bite their tongue and stick with it” ?? Does that mean, in layman’s terms: “Don’t come crying to the labour board when you are treated unfairly at your job, OR when you think that you are being forced out of your position, OR when you know your employer it not contributing payments to your pension and insurance”??
    Maybe those in the labour enforcement divisions will be next to get a kick out the door.
    3. What is the purpose of mentioning the 56% percent that only have a high school diploma? Is it to try and point out that most unemployed Caymanians are not as educated as they should be?
    If you are not working, how can you afford to better yourself and go to school? And we all know that the Education Department does not just hand out scholarships. I am so frustrated with this whole experience/ qualifications issue. As a high school graduate, you can go straight into college right? Let’s say that you earn your Associate degree, only you have never had any real work experience. After completion of your first 2 years, you decide that you want to work part time AND continue on to you Bachelors. Thing is, you are unsuccessful in getting a job, so you decide to do school full time. After a total of 4 years in college/university, you have earned your Bachelors degree and not a day work experience. Tell me. When that person enters the work force, where would they start? At the bottom, or the middle? How much salary would they get? How far would they go with no work experience? On the other hand, you could try to get a job straight from high school. A lot of people are fortunate to be able to this. However they are then told that they don’t have the necessary skills compared to someone else.
    This is an issue, and it is not going away. I would definitely encourage Mr. Anglin and Mr. Tibbits to work CLOSELY with the Immigration Department. Because I know for a fact that there are still work permits being granted for laborers, construction workers and gardeners.
    4.  900 people applied for the Government work clean-up project. 900. Obviously these are not 900 people that are lazy and do not want to work? I can only image the feelings of some of them that did not make thetop 300. I see these to be 900 people that are willing and needy. I think that it was a good idea for the Gov’t to come up with something for these people to do. At the end of the day, they are working hard for an honest dollar. Some people may say that it is just a waste of money. But imagine if that was the only thing out there that YOU could get to do? I am so proud to see some of those young men out there helping to beautify OUR island. Keep your heads up and do not feel discouraged. Although I do feel that a vocational school of some sort would be more advantageous in the long run, it’s a start.
    I would suggest that the Employment Relations Department keep us posted on the number of unemployed that are still registered with them by June 2010 at least. So we the public can determine if the number is decreasing, whether because persons are being placed in jobs, or if they have just decided to not even register.