Travers calls for more reform

| 10/05/2010

(CNS): Despite the recent changes to the immigration law in order to facilitate key employee status for a number of posts related to the financial services sector, the chair of Cayman Finance said the country’s highly restrictive immigration and rollover policies, as he described them, need further reform. Anthony Travers said the current administration had reduced some of the negative effects but far more would have to be done if the island was to enhance its financial services sector and generate more cash from it. Cayman needed to attract more of what he called the industry’s ‘substantial presence’, which would require higher quality professionals.

Speaking at Thursday’s Cayman Finance summit, Anthony Travers, chair of the industry body, said government had not yet addressed the problem of work permits in the minds of the voting public. Calling it the “800 pound gorilla in the room”, he said government had to confront the heresy that the highest quality financial professionals could be attracted to the Cayman Islands to develop new elements of the industry on the basis they were only here for the short term.
“It is an unrealistic delusion,” he said. “We understand the long term concerns of Caymanians and the Caymanian public generally, but these must be addressed by decoupling the issue of work permits and security of tenure for financial professionals from the issue of status and voting and this conundrum has not yet been effectively solved.”
He said it was important to protect the interests of professional Caymanians and their proper integration but rollover was never the correct response. Travers suggested that no one should mind paying more for work permits in the financial industry in a no tax environment if the sector could get the permits it wanted, when it wanted them for as long as it wanted them.
Travers warned, however, that if the financial industry could not be elevated the recent fee increases would not be sustainable and contribute to the continued exit of the fund industry.
He explained that before rollover started the sector’s departure the industry employed as many as 5,800 people, half of which were Caymanian, and had been behind the indirect creation of some 13,000 jobs and 50percent of government revenue.
This development of a `substantial presence`, by which he meant attracting more of the administration, management and  broker-dealers to Cayman, was central and vital to the future development of the whole sector.
Travers explained this lack of presence was fuelling the latest attacks by the OECD on the legitimacy of this jurisdiction. Quantative and qualitative improvement in financial services would also support higher government and private sector fee levels, the Cayman Finance chair told the summit audience. He also said enhancement would ultimately lead to greater Caymanian employment despite the global industry decline.
With no justifiable criticism of Cayman regarding tax evasion, he said, the criticism was now about a lack of presence, but Travers warned the strategies for refuting that attack were limited. To do so the country had to attract more of the service providers in the industry. This in turn meant more relaxed immigration policies. 
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  1. Anonymous says:

    from CNS’ article Travers calls for more reform

    quote  "Travers suggested that no one should mind paying more for work permits in the financial industry in a no tax environment if the sector could get the permits it wanted, when it wanted them for as long as it wanted them." unquote. 

    With all due respect to Mr. Travers  I find that statement  very cold.  Is he really thinking about the ‘good’ of the people of the Cayman Islands – quote – "for as long as it wanted them"  !!!???   unquote. Does he realize that Cayman is very, very small and have a large number of students graduating from High Schools, Colleges and Universities – some who can’t get jobs!  Does he realize that we are overcrowded now and can’t cope with the amount of garbage, traffic etc. which will  drive the Tourism industry down the drain?  Hope he starts thinking about the ‘little man’  who is not coping. Not only the ‘Rich & Famous’ here need to survive!! 

    With all the Financial  Wizards here, our crime rate is growing every day – so look at what’s wrong with our island and help us in our ‘social’ problems before inviting more people to come; bringing their  families, friends, co-workers and anyone else they feel like bringing, who will add more strain on those here now!  We are ‘islands’ not  states like New York, Florida etc. nor are we London or Paris!     



    • Anonymous says:

      My family and myself after years of visiting Grand Cayman decided to give living there a try.  Dealing with the immigration department has been nothing if not impossible, we have applied for residency as "persons of independent means" and wish to to no more than spend some time there and add to the local economy. To date we have spent several hundred thousand dollars in customs duty bringing in a boat, car in addition to rent, food, etc. and have received nothing but rudeness, stress and aggravation in dealing with an immigration department that simply does not want us on the island.  We don’t want or need to take any jobs away or detract from the local economy in any fashion and only wish to go scuba diving and sit on the beach. We’re finished trying to do the impossible and are going to go to a friendly country that wants our money , civic mindedness and smiles.  My advice to anyone thinking about spending more than 30 days in the Cayman is don’t waste your time, they don’t want you there!




  2. Anonymous says:

     To: …  by Adam Smith (not verified) on Mon, 05/10/2010 – 13:33.

    I apologise for typing "their" instead of "there".  Seriously, the invisible hand does many wonderful things but spotting typos is not one of them . . . .  unquote 

    Try reading the ‘preview’ where there is a chance to ‘correct’  the ‘errors’ before posting  🙂


  3. Anonymous says:

    Of course, Travers is correct . Much more reform is necessary

    The financial industry in Cayman is being choked by government interference in employment, mainly through the rollover and business planning laws.

    And not just that industry, but all the resident industries.

    Everyone who has ever run a business knows that success depends on
    its ability to select employees. And it is the employer, alone, who has the
    the knowledge to do this.

    Therefore, the  current rollover and staffing laws can only make it more
    difficult, it not impossible, for private business to succeed here.

    It is likely that this is a major reason why companies are voting with
    their feet.

    And as Travers says, citizenship and Status issues are not the real problem.

    Rather, the real problem for employers is keeping the people they have selected.


  4. Anonymous says:

    In an earlier post someone made reference to the 800 lb gorilla in the room. It appears he is gaining weight by the second and will soon explode destroying all of us.

    It is obvious that if the powers that be do not wake up and understand the agenda of some of these "advisers" they have surrounded themselves with there will soon be nothing left for any Caymanian to enjoy in this our homeland. The immigration wish list expressed by people like Travers is what is contributing to the destruction of these fair islands.

  5. big dummy says:

    Don’t you know expatriates are gods sent to earth to guide Caymanians to their rightful position in Cayman. Right to the back of line we should know our place that is the message Colonel Sanders oops Travers is trying to convey to you retards in his financial agenda lingo. He even brought one our ancestors a 800 lb gorilla in case you don’t get it he will beat it in to you thick native skulls.

  6. noname says:

    More concessions for the well to do on this island. The cutting and firing of civil servants will have serious consequences lets hope the so call advisers are prepare to deal with them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think this statement Mr. Travers made says a lot:

    … is important to protect the interest of professional Caymanians and their proper integration………..

    What integration?

    Social integration ("the movement of minority groups, refugees and underprivliged sections of a society into the mainstream")?

    I am confused.

    To integrate (" to unite with something else, to incorporate into a larger unit, to end segregation of and bring into equal membership in society or organization).

    Hm – shouldn’t it be the other way around, that the work permit holders (foreigners) have to integrate with Cayman and Caymanians? Or is Mr Travers admitting that Caymanians have not been equal and now need to be made equal, and as such need to be integrated?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, a lot of of those people who have been recruited and brought to Cayman as they were apparently the cat’s miau to the financial industry turned out to be not as well educated, qualified and knowledgeable as they have sold themselves to be,and a lot of people remember that.

    Throwing open the gates of immigration is not going to be the all fix to the current problems…..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Honestly i wish Mr. Travers would go and sit his self down becasue he is just like the rest of them see what benfits he can gain off of this Island they all have the country at heart when they are getting the big bucks Mr. Travers please advise us what have you done for this country or the people besides what you have gain for your self.

  10. Anonymous says:

    the 800 hundred pound gorilla in the room ……. you said it !


  11. Anonymous says:

    When we are able to encourage actual business growth in Cayman by releasing the ridiculous encumbrances that squash entreprenurial spirit, the civil servants will either a) find productive jobs in the private sector or b) will be providing a meaningful service within Government.

    The truth is that all of the protectionist legislation and the hobbling of production (through difficulties in getting work permits, rollover policies that replace established members of this society for newcomers, for allowing the few lazy Caymanians to have a stronger voice than their countrymen who are intelligent, hardworking and industrious) is finally catching up and the only answer to is allow the free market to do its work unhindered by the unintended consequences of protectionist crap, which just doesn’t work.

    I heard an interesting story the other day:  A man was crowing to another about the fact that a restaurant had gone bust and that the seven expat employees all had to leave – good riddance to them!  he said.  The other man looked at him and said "but didn’t one of those employees rent your mother’s apartment?  How is she going to pay her mortgage?  The first man stared blankly at the second man and then said "I have just never thought of it like that before".

    It is time to start thinking about it. 

  12. whodatis says:

    Many of the sentiments on here are clear examples of how and why we have arrived at this current point in Cayman.

    It appears as if a large percentage of our "expats" and newly arrived "Caymanians" have no interest in the survival, lifestyle, culture or social dynamic of the Cayman Islands. Not many of you come here to genuinely "integrate" or "share" this tiny island with its natives – rather, many come strictly for self-serving purposes – then turn around and tell us Caymanians to "get with the program".

    When my mother was a little girl growing up in this country we were officially branded as a "warm and friendly" country / people – however, today we are now branded as "xenophobic", "protectionist" and even "racist". Can someone please explain to me how the ingrained nature of a people can do a complete 180 in the period of a single generation? It cannot!

    Perhaps more of us should turn our heads eastward and examine what is happening in the UK right now with the resurgent "rise of the right" in their socio-political arena.

    What truly irks me is that audacity and arrogance of many in our midst as they attempt to double-speak and legitimize their absurd mindset – in 2010! The smoke and mirrors gig is up people – geesh!

    In any event, these doomsday and end of days arguments will soon prove their worthlessness. The West has eaten itself … everything is going East – sorry folks but your Anglo-American strategy of "dog eat dog", ponzi scheme, print-another-pound economy has finally caught up with you. London is holding the UK together financially, I trust you all have a Plan B for when it all falls apart (other than the blatantly obvious Anglo-American global stretching of its military agenda that is – war much?).

    Hmmm – perhaps Cayman is that Plan B? Due to political affiliations we are the easier choice, the language is "agreeable" and the weather is far better after all.

    Sorry guys, but we are wise to our worth. We sold out beachfront property for $2 an acre back in the 50’s and 60’s … we know our real-time value today, thank you very much.

    (Standing by for the comment-less thumb downs.)


    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis, you make some good points and it was a worthwhile post, but please don’t think that there is a ‘large’ percentage of expats who do not care for Cayman in any form. Much like the xenophobic, racist Caymanians, the real numbers of people with these extreme views are very small but are unfortunately very vocal on both sides.

      Most Caymanians are still warm and welcoming and most expats love Cayman for what it is and love Caymanians for who they are. There are idiotic bigoted minorities in every society. No 180 degree turn has occured.

      One point i feel should be made, you critise people for coming here for self serving purposes. Please remember that people always move for self serving purposes, its called voluntery migration. People moving for reasons that are not self benefitting are called charity workers! Does Cayman need 25,000 overseas charity workers?? No. The country does however need 25,000 economic migrants – people who move for their own benefit. BUT remember benefit is not only financial, benefit can be environment, saftey or community. I for one feel that Cayman’s community and in particular the Caymanian’s are one very good reason to move to this island.

      • whodatis says:

        A very well worded comeback – and right on cue as I expected.

        Now for the overrun of thumbs-ups and guaranteed avalanche of perspective supporting comments.

        However, in reality we all know what is what my friend.

        As I said before – the smoke and mirrors gig is up.

        "He who feels it knows it."

        Walk good.



      • whodatis says:


        May have been a bit crass earlier, sorry about that.

        You make some valid points.

        Take care.

  13. Perhaps Mr. Travers could explain what he thinks about Ann Nealon, a British expatriate, being hounded off the island several years ago simply because she wanted a career change, which involved her resigning as CEO of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange (Chairman: Tony Travers) and moving to Walkers law firm.

    Surely Ms. Nealon, with her impressive professional qualifications and experience, is exactly the sort of person that Mr. Travers claims Cayman should be trying to attract and keep for longer periods than the current immigration law allows.

    I wonder what steps Mr. Travers took then to protect the rights of this valued expatriate who was benefiting his beloved Caymanians by helping to expand Cayman’s financial services sector.

    Here’s an idea: If Mr. Travers wants to make Cayman more attractive for expatriates so that more foreign companies establish a "substantial presence", perhaps he could lobby for measures to be put in place so that no one person has undue influence over the immigration process and each case is decided on its merits.

    Or is this an “unrealistic delusion" on my part?

    • anyhoo says:

      I absolutely agree. Well said.

    • frank rizzo says:

      Career change?  As they say up in Maine, "You can’t get there from here." Any mention of merit brings scrutiny and questions of how you got here in the first place.

      Your delusion makes sense to me. Problem is any individual merits come into play after the individual has been continuously resident for 8 years. One may only stay 7 years before a mandated break in residence. I think you can do the math on this one.

      It’s a totally different world down here, Dave. Not just Cayman, don’t get me wrong, I experienced it in the UK even. Virtually all of the islands share common concerns with labour issues and its difficult to find fault with the concerns, but the implementation of the remedies defies me at times. Immigration rules.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this the same Ann Nealon who was injuncted by the Grand Court for unlawful and improper disclosure of confidential information whilst CEO of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange?  If it si, is seems that Mr. Travers’ judgement is again correct.


      • It is extremely easy to obtain an injunction under the British judicial system and it is typicallly used as a pre-emptive measure. In my industry, for example, targets of investigations routinely apply for, and are given, injunctions against British newspapers to prevent the publication of an embarrassing story. A temporary injunction is given on an ex parte basis and then a hearing is set for a later date to argue the merits.

        I don’t have detailed knowledge of the Nealon injunction matter but I would not be at all surprised if the CISX had no credible evidence that Nealon had ever tried to disclose confidential information but sought an injunction anyway in an attempt to discourage her from doing so if the thought ever crossed her mind, despite evidence that it had.

        If someone has specific knowledge about this matter, perhaps they would share it with us here and, if Tony Travers, decides to chime in, I ask that he does it in his own name.

        The CISX-Nealon matter must be put into the context that the CISX was extremely irate that Nealon had decided to terminate her contract early and became involved in an ugly battle with her that, in my opinion, was most unbefitting a business that wanted to be taken seriously in the international financial community.

        I know that my opinion of the CISX was lowered with every story I read about the dispute and every tale I heard in conversation with local residents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps if you really want to stick the cat in amongst the pigeons  you need to ask him what he thinks about Cherie Booth QC (Blair )who from what I remember represented Ms Nealon ……..


      I am sure Tony has fond memories of that exchange … 

  14. slowpoke says:

     Here I go again, agreeing with my personal Antichrist, Tony T.

    No matter how offensive, a few,  potential, additional voters (status grants, if they can be bothered by paperwork), will not significantly disrupt the local electorate, but may significantly help our economy.

    However, can they be required to take and pass ethics test first?

    • frank rizzo says:

      Who will administer the test? Whose ethics will the test be based upon?

      • Anonymous says:

        There are actually some standardized reasoning tests that will identify non-violent psychopathic traits, such as characterized by Madoff, Skilling, Tourre, Stanford… 

      • Anonymous says:

        Does not really even have to be that complicated. Obey the laws of the Cayman Islands or face immediate removal would be enough.

  15. Anonymous says:

    > mind paying more for work permits in the financial industry in a no tax environment if the sector could get the permits it wanted, when it wanted them for as long as it wanted them.

    While I respect Mr. Travers, I’m afraid this approach is calling for a proverbial "blank cheque" i.e. unlimited guaranteed work permits for the financial sector. I’m afraid it ignores the long term implications which are a large number of people qualifying for citizenship. It does not speak to the long term implication of population growth, infrastructure strain, environmental impact etc etc. The pendulum must not swing too far in either direction.

  16. Sole Provider says:

    Anthony Travers fails to realise or choses to ignore the fact that our greatest competitors as well as G20 nations have an even more convoluted immigration system than we do.

    Multiple forms comprising of dozens of pages, comprehensive background checks, fingerprinting and interviews await applicants who wish to reside in these jurisdictions for periods exceeding 7 years. 

    In comparison Cayman’s immigration requirements are a extremely lenient and enforcement practically non-exisitent.

    Mr. Travers would you be so kind as to tell us when is the last time the Immigration Department came to your firm to conduct an immigration audit? XXXX


  17. Dplan says:

    Yes we need to reformthis immigration policy so coming to the Cayman Islands is a privilege not a convenience.Since 1974 this immigration law and policy has been revised change and amended to benefit foreign nationals. now the same benefactors of these policy changes again want more change to the detriment of the Caymanian people.Now they are warning and threatening calamity if we do not. Our worthless and mindless political leadership are following like sheep believing they going to be fed. Yes civil service understand the reason why their is so much criticism being leveled at the Civil service is made up of who????? Yes Cayman this called a displacement policy. Poor fools they just don’t get it


  18. My2cents says:

    It is about making Cayman an attractive place to do business out of. That brings in new business, and all of the benefits for Cayman that brings. He is right.

  19. Da big deal says:

    Where the held are you and Senor Travers living you are are still talking about these complex financial deals that are going to take place When it is obvious that the world debt restructuring business is confining these deals to Countries that are affected. These so called complex deals you speak of are being done collectively by the G20 countries which are i must tell you are operating like our financial industry doesn’t exist or has already gone. We need to try and be more conservative and manage what we have and stop illuminating ourselves in this very dark financial abyss which is causing unwanted attention by badly managed economies looking for someone to blame for their financial woes. All you here out of you all is sell sell sell sell how much more do we have to prostitute ourselves to be competitive and what are we getting the promise of BIG Money and to sustained who???? Well if we go according to you all the Civil Service is the big monster we need to fight conveniently leaving out the excessive lifestyles and wealth amassed by the Few. So please give it a rest  and stop making some of these foreign economic Piranha  believe their is a virtual money pit here for them to come and get adding to our already social and economic problems which needs desperate attention.

  20. tired says:

    hmm? fire’em in the private+ fire’em  in the public +Make it easier and cheaper for companies to hire foreign nationals= more profit for everyone(oops what about those cats that we fired… oh well you can’t please everyone!)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr.Travers is adeptly riding his hobby horse of old down a smoother road than he’s probably ever traveled. And the old steed has a new lease on life, invigorated no doubt by the adrenalin of fear, concern and panic created by the present economic storm. An economic crisis is a terrible thing to waste, after all. The natives are much more likely to be frightened in to conceding further economic and, ultimately, political control in the present environment than ever they have been before.

    What is an "unreasonable delusion" is to believe that "the long term concerns of Caymanians and the Caymanian public generally" can "be addressed by decoupling the issue of work permits and security of tenure for financial professionals from the issue of status and voting" as Mr. Travers suggests.

    Mr. Travers’ long held dream of swinging wide the Cayman immigration doors to allow the financial services industry to employ as many foreign workers as they wish to live and work in Cayman for as long as they wish may well result in bringing vast numbers of new businesses to Cayman, as he claims. Obviously that sort of licence must be hugely attractive to international business – for there is no other jurisidiction in the world which has such an open immigtation policy.  But let’s be clear about one thing: it will fundamentally and irreversibly alter the social dynamic in this country.  This is so not just in the relatively short term as the upward mobility of Caymanian professionals is negatively impacted, but moreso in the longer term as the increasing number of these high income earners exert their economic and political influence and exert more and more control over the affairs of Cayman.  But perhaps that is Mr. Travers’ end game, after all.

    We only need look at the past 25 years to understand that it is not possible to decouple work permits and secuirty of tenure from issues of voting and status. It is neither legally nor morally right to allow people to come in to your country, live there for extended periods, build lives and grow families there and then say to them after 15 years that they cannot have Status  and do not have a right to participate in the various rites of citizenship such as voting. Haven’t we heard that before? Wasn’t that why the rollover policy was introduced?  Are Mr. Travers’ powers of recall  impaired. or are his recollections simply convenient?




    • Anonymous says:

      It appears to me that the adrenaline rush of fear is one that you are well familiar with, as your words are riddled with it.  Those people in this country who are intelligent, hardworking and industrious are those who have absolutely nothing to fear from the effects of competition – whether that competition is in local business, international business or in the work force.  Self-protectionism has never worked – it prevents productivity and creates an entitlement philosophy amongst a population that leads to laziness.  I defy you to show us a single example of the success of a protectionist initiative anywhere in the world. 

      If you look carefully, you will find that there are a great number of countries that have broad immigration policies that are geared to attract the type of labour that cannot be fulfilled from the local population.  It makes logical and numerical sense that the Caymanian population is too small to sustain its economic prosperity – this has been blatently proven by the reduction in 7,000 work permits over the last 18 months, which has, according to statistics stated recently by the Premier, accounted for a loss of at least $50 million to the local economy.  That is $50 million that did not make it into the pockets of Caymanian businesses, their workers, landlords and etc.  Foreign labour is required, unless you want to revert back to swatting mossies in the fishing village – which is fine if you do – but there won’t be any high paying jobs (in the civil service or in the private sector) in that scenario, which leads to the irony that the most productive people in Cayman will be trying to emigrate to other countries in order to provide a decent living for themselves.

      Cayman is a great place to live and work, but you are quite right in that it won’t be for everybody.  There are many downsides to attracting people to come and work here, which only underscores the ridiculousness of driving out the door the ones who actually wanted to stay.

      You are also quite right in that an economic crisis is not to be wasted – it is a perfect opportunity to say:  "Doh!  Um, maybe we screwed up!"  Until Cayman can get over its insecurity complex and accept the fact that when we compete against each other (for jobs, for money, for business) we all do better.

      Only the lazy are afraid of competition.  One does not have to be the best in order to be successful in a free market economy – one only has to be the very best that she can be.



      • Anonymous says:

        It is not just the lazy, there is a worse category the ambitious, barely but "suitably" qualified and utterly mediocre. 

        • Anonymous says:

          People like you, the poster Mon. 05/10/2010 – 19:21are the cause of the divide and growing hatred between Caymanians and expatriate guest workers in this country. Your disrespectful, contemptuous and utterly insulting attitude needs removal from my country, to be returned from whence it came.


    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. I congratulate for your independence of thought which seems so rare these days.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is somewhat presumptuous to comment on what Mr. Travers may dream when you clearly don’t begin to understand his point.  I think we can say with certainty that Mr. Travers has no personal interest in the outcome but understands the financial industry will no longer operate as before, when he was a leading captain of that industry (and by the way, who were you?). 

      So those of you who are concerned about work permits have two clear options – a) take 5 minutes to understand what he is saying; or b) go back to rope-making and fire half of your civil service

      • Anonymous says:

        Posts such as you are exactly the reason why so many people do not agree with Anthony Traver’s views. Are you seriously suggesting that the only options Cayman has is to either listen to the views of some and revamp immigration policies entirely to allow the financial industry to do as they are pleased, or otherwise everyone in Cayman will go back to rope making???

        BTW –  I took 5 minutes to understand what he is saying, but I do not agree entirely. Immigration is not the source of all problems the financial industry faces, and as such, it is not the fix for everything! The state of the current financial markets is a much much much more complex issue.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Mr. Travers needs to find some ways how to negotiate lower rent for office space, lower utility bills, lower cost for phone and internet services which will also aid to attract business or retain businesses in Cayman. Currently, the overhead is just too much for many corporations, and as such, they are pushing a lot of their middle and back office work to cheaper locations such as India and Mauritius where salaries and benefits are a lot cheaper. Furthermore, access from Cayman to London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other jurisdiction is not very convenient for business people who have to travel on a regular basis which pushes up travel expense.

    A lot of those factors play a major part for corporations when they decide where to set up or keep shop. Immigration issues are not the only factors considered. I do not believe that somebody who is uniquely qualified and trained in their profession within the financial industry has been subjected to roll-over. In fact, many large corporations, banks and law firms do rotate their senior level staff amongst various jurisdictions if needed.

    • Anonymous says:

      A few things wrong with your statement. Firstly trimming a few bob off a company’s phone bill is not going to keep them in Cayman. By far the biggest challenge is getting quality staff. When they are forced to employ Caymanians in positions for which they are not qualified, just to make sure they get a permit for an expat for another job the company, it is wasting a fortune paying the underqualified caymanian to email their friends and sit on facebook all day. If they only had to employ competent caymanians they would be more profitable and in the long term the Caymanians would have to re-examine thier work ethic and lose their entitlement mentality and realise they have to work for their salary and earn their stripes.

      Also whilst some senior professionals enjoy the rotation of working on short term assignments in different countries, a lot do not. They are put off coming to Cayman because they know they’ll just settle down with the family and then after a few years have to uproot them, pull the kids out of school and move somewhere else.


      • Anonymous says:

        This excuse has been used for the last 30 years! If everyone would have followed the rules and regulations of the immigration laws and how it was intended, then Caymanians would have received the opportunities to train and advance at their jobs, and there shouldn’t be any more shortage of qualified people.

        Don’t get me wrong, I am very well aware of the fact that there are Caymanians that are not qualified to hold certain positions, but I am also aware that a lot of them have been held down.

        There are a lot of firms, banks and corporations who have had temps in the same positions for the last two (or more) years! A lot of those temps doing basic admin work. Are you telling me that there was no Caymanian around that could have qualified for a basic entry level job and then be trained over the last two years the same way the temp has been. The reason temps are being used is because they do not go on the company’s books and the company (or bank or law firm) does not have to pay for their pension, health care or vacation time. This is denying a lot of people the opportunity to get their foot in the door and be trained from the bottom up!


        • Anonymous says:

          Temp staff are incredibly expensive compared to employing somebody full time and are only used where it is required usually because they will be neededfor an unknown amount of time, therefore they don’t want to employ somebody full time and then have to payout for redundancy etc when they no longer need them.

          I agree that some temps are used for long term contracts, usually in positions where a firm needs a competent person but have been denied a work permit and where the Caymanian applicants were not good enough.

          It is ludicrous to suggest that motivated, competent qualified Caymanians are being held back. No company would choose a temp over a full time local not requiring a work permit, for a full time position as the cost difference is massive.

          The entitlement culture, bad attitudes, poor education, lack of motivation, lack of respect for authority/foreigners, laziness, spending all day on personal calls/facebook are all to blame for holding Caymanians back in the workforce.

          What would your company rather have, an expensive temp that did the admin tasks required and helped your business run smoothly, or a cheaper local that spends all day on their blackberry or the internet?

          • Anon says:

            Whilst I hear, have witnessed and tend to agree with most (but not all) of what you describe, just playing devils advocate here so that you can hear an experience from an ex pats point of view, not a Caymanian, that would tend to suggest some abuse of the system here by some employers.

            I was brought here as a temp due to my specific skills in the legal sector some years ago, to work with a prominent law firm as a ‘Legal Secretary’ on a temp to perm basis.  Except the firm in question gave me only one letter to type in my entire 6 months there.  The rest of the time they had me simply filing and archiving files.  I was flabbergasted to have been recruited to Cayman due to my "specific skills" only to never have those skills utilised and instead just be treated as some very expensive ‘skivvy’ doing a job that anybody could do. 

            I was concerned that this was an abuse of the system, and I didn’t want to be a (willing) part of it.  I discussed my concerns with the HR department telling them I could not understand why they were paying a temp agency US$30+ an hour for my services, when the duties I was performing were in no way specialised or requring any specific skills.  I respectfully pointed out (and I thought I was doing the right thing and them a favor at the time) that a school leaver could do the same job for less than a third of what they were paying me to do it for.  Guess what?  My ‘temp to perm’ job suddenly became a temp contract and that contract came to an end within less than a week of my conversation with the HR department!

            So you see, although it makes no sense at all, some employers are ludicrous enough to hold prospective Caymanians back.  This would have been valuable work experience for any school leaver, who surely would be interested and apply for an opportunity with a major law firm such as this… had it been advertised.

            Fortunately it turned out good for me, as I now have a job which fully utilizes my skills and qualifications and I can feel that I am making a valuable contribution to the firm by working to my best capacity.

            • Anonymous says:

              I have worked in a law firm and seen exactly what you describe. It is dishonest and damaging, but since the parties responsible may be "Officers of the Court" – then it can never even be openly discussed. Right Elio? Right Valdis?

          • Anonymous says:

            Read my post again. Temps are hired because global corporations, banks, law firms are having head count and hiring freezes rammed down on them. So rather than going back and applying to the mother ship for permission to hire someone for whom they have to pay pension, healthcare (possibly for the entire family), life insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, performance bonus etc etc,  they hire a temp for which they have no further responsibilities. This is how they get around the redtape within their own companies and to cut a (potential) very long recruitment process (which requires the necessary approvals) short. If you consider all the benefits and the fact that the temps can be let go without a reason, much of a notice and the threat of any further action against the temporary "employer" under the labour law, I would hold firm that a temp is NOT more expensive!

            They are just very, very convenient for those temporary employers due to the reason set out above. It has nothing to do with the fact that no qualified Caymanian could be found!

            There are a lot of issues nowadays with the younger generation and their lack of motivation, however, this problem is not isolated to Cayman. To think that it is, that is ludicrous!

          • Anonymous says:

            You should be very, very careful not to generalize the way you do!

          • Anonymous says:

            10:17 – sounds to me like you probably believe that all the expats hired in Cayman are brilliant….I could introduce you to many I’ve had to deal with who have proven to be highly incompetent – yet none of them have been ‘held back’ in the workforce! Sorry but you need to wake up – not all expensive temps are capable of performing the admin tasks required or helping a business run smoothly!

            • Anonymous says:

              Exactly! In my experience, the ones that come here are the ones who can’t cut it in their own job market back home. I can’t tell you the amounts of times an attorney has told me that they came to Cayman to cut back on working hours and not be subject to the competition and cut-throat mentality they experience back home. Not one of them has said that they came because they have so much to offer to Cayman………..

  23. Adam Smith says:

    It is obvious that Mr. Travers is right and that following his suggestion would protect or bring in far more jobs and opportunities in Cayman.  But the objectors, the Mafia of the Mediocre, just see the economy as a fixed pie which means someone else’s gain is their loss. 

    A nation’s economy is not a zero sum game.  If someone brings in $1m of business which was not their before and they keep $600,000 for themselves, other people are still better off to the tune of $400,000.


    • Adam Smith says:

      I apologise for typing "their" instead of "there".  Seriously, the invisible hand does many wonderful things but spotting typos is not one of them . . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      But, Adam, according to Mr Andre Iton, the $400,000 still goes to the fat cats and creates inequality blah blah, unlike the economies of his no doubt blessed other Caribbean countries like ……………………….

      • Who de cap fit says:

        Corporations make money on Cayman, financial services make money on Cayman, law firms make money on Cayman, real estate companies make money on Cayman.  They make a lot of money.  And bricklayers, roofers, gardeners, domestic helpers, nannies, security guards, carpenters, restaurant staff, painters, electricians, plumbers, pool cleaners, and many many others make minimum wage taking care of them while they count their money.  Then they give us a little.  Does this set Cayman apart?  In what way??  Oh I see, it’s that impossibility of inequality you have a problem with.  I know, inequality doesn’t exist here, it only exists in those "other Caribbean countries."  We’re lucky to have people like you to point that out.  So too are the "other Caribbean countries" to have people just like you.

        We’re so damn lucky aren’t we?  Excuse me while I grovel.

    • Elasticity says:

      By the thumbs down, 13 people (at the moment) have no clue about economics.