Tour operators encouraged to stick with local drivers

| 05/04/2013

(CNS): The tourism minister has said that a dispute among local transport operators has been resolved with an agreement by the owners of the buses to use local drivers if government agrees to waive the fee required for them to pass the public transport licence test. Although not formally declared as the first  Caymanian only occupation which was provided for in legislation passed in last sitting of the Legislative Assembly, the tourism minister said Thursday that ambiguity regarding transport application fees had  led to a compromise that will encourage the employment of local drivers.

Speaking during Thursday’s press briefing, Glidden said that Caymanian owners of the buses in some cases were employing foreign drivers and had disputed the need to pay public transport fees because they believed they were exempt. However, Glidden explained that the fee applied to the driver so if they were not local then a fee had to be paid regardless of who owned the bus.

Requests to change the regulations were declined by government who instead agreed to waive the license fee for local drivers wanting to qualify as bus drivers. The tourism minister said the tour operators had found that the $150 fee for drivers to get a public transport license to drive a bus was a genuine barrier to many local people. By waiving that fee and enabling more local drivers to qualify, instead of waiving the fee for foreign drivers should Glidden said provide a more positive outcome for all encouraging Caymanian employment.
In addition, the minister said the department was going to examine the tourism test which the drivers are also expected to take as he said there was a 95% failure rate which suggested that there was something wrong with the test.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Competition is healthy. Making any sector "Caymanian only" will mean there is no competition for jobs and a culture of entitlement. Standards in those sectors will deteriorate because of the lack of competitive pressure and other people will see the drop in standards as confirmation of the negative racial stereotypes and hire less Caymanians as a result.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am a Caymanian, and I have no problem saying that all of this "Cayman Only" employment will eventually be our downfall. I do believe in locals getting first offer of jobs, but striving for a Caymanian only work force in any sector is ridiculous, especially when equally and often more qualified expats would be more appropriate for the job. We need to stop cutting off our nose to spite our face; or we will never get our of the hole we've dug for ourselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on 04.05…the "entitlement" of a job, is actually nothing other than Cayman creating the illusion that is is competitive with the world. The expats have to be competitive and efficient, otherwise they have to go home..Cayman has got lazy by treating itself like it has a silver spoon in its mouth, when it turns out its a suicide pill. We have to work and be competitive and train oursleves how the rest of the world works so we can do those jobs and earn those salaries..we will never get them by making it Caymanians only..the jobs will go away..unless we deserve them

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to ensure that documents presented as proof of qualifications etc. when a work permit is applied for, is actually authentic – there are far too many people showing up with documents which are presented to the Immigration Department and these are not verified.  I hope our Immigration Dept will be far more diligent that ever before.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Facts and figures needs to be presented in this case regarding how many expats will be asked to go home which will have a domino effect like  the rollover such as apartments cant be rented,less people  supporting other businesses like supermarkets ,gas stations restaurants and the list goes on  etc. I am a caymanian and I have cayman friends working in the financial field,lime, fire station and the hotel industry for decades. I also have caymanian friends who use to change job every 3-6 months,losing their job for reasons like going to cuba every weekend ,showing up for work drunk,not willing to work their way up the succes ladder  etc, I say that because sometimes the problemisnt that  caymanians cant get  a job ,its the attitude of the caymanian .In this case the government needs to stop bringing the plate to us caymanians  and we need to step up to the plate and arm ourselves with education.

  4. Anonymous says:

    more wonderland stuff…….

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hope Ellio is able to pass the test.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ladies and gentlemen, on our left is the Legislative Assembly building where I was previously employed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The entire Public Transport Department and Public Transpport Board is a joke.  No one in either unit has ever had any experience in the Tourism industry or public transport  to know how to run such this vital department.  And to have the Chairman of the Tourism Department as chair of the PTU Board is pure crazy since this department is the most lacking in tourism ambassadors and it seems to me like the priority is to make sure vehicles are somewhat monitored, not the behavior of the drivers and they seem to enjoy refusing Caymanians the opportunity to won their own tour company.  This is one dapartment that needs a complete overhaul when we get a new government because this is one I know for a fact is at best very corrupt and  dysfunctional.

  7. Anonymous says:

    They have to take a test??!  Do they remove the mirrors, indicators and brakes before as well as the drivers' glasses?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Its about time – the PTU test is a joke!  Dont even get me started about the incompetence of the Board!

  9. Anonymous says:

    If any driver is a permanent resident then a refusal to apply this waiver to them is a breach of their human rights.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they are a Permanent Resident who did not lie on their application form, was granted their permission in compliance with the Law  and is up to date on the payment of all fees, then you possibly have a point.

      • Anonymous says:

        And there you are wrong.  The charging of fees is illegal discrimination of settled residents on the basis of national origin.

        • Anonymous says:

          A PR holder is not a settled resident by virtue only of their immigration permission. What we call PR is the same as what the UK calls a work permit.

  10. Rorschach says:

    Oh, boy…here we go again…"locals" cant afford $150 for the transportation license..solution: Waive the fee.. Can't pass a Local knowledge test…solution: Make the test easier…am I the only person who sees the overall problem here?  It's been common knowledge for YEARS that local tour bus and taxi and omni bus owners have been "renting" out their buses and vehicles to the highest bidders, hence you see people driving taxi and omni bus from all walks of life except Cayman.  Instead of working to make sure that owners are being responsbile and not letting any Tom, Dick or Harry who thinks he is Mario Andretti take the wheel of a public transportation vehicle, NOOOOO, the minister is putting a band-aid on an axe wound.  Why doesn't the Minsiter instead look at it this way..Can't afford the fee, we (the PTB) will cover the cost of the fee up front and you (the driver) will sign a contract agreeing to pay it back once you start driving.  Don't pay it back, get your license revoked.  Simple.   Can't pass the local knowledge exam, have classes.  DON'T make it easier…that is the systemic problem here, people.  We keep lowering the bar for everything…pretty soon the bar will be on the ground and then everyone will be able to just walk over it..

    • Diogenes says:

      I Iike the irony in  the suggestion that asking Caymanians to pass a test of LOCAL knowledge is somehow unfair or discriminatory, or the test is flawed, when the work permit foreigners can apparently pass it .  Something wrong all right, but it ain't the test!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Is it just the fee that is been waived or the need to pass the test as well?  Our roads can be bad enough without unlicensed bus drivers – just because they are Caymanains does not mean they are safe drivers!

    • Anonymous says:

      It's not about Caymanians being safer drivers, it's about caymanians being first contact to guest to our Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        What you really mean is – I don't want Jamaicans doing this job, and if I could have my way I would not let paper Caymanians do it either.  Sad, but such deep-rooted prejudice is so rife and it is awful.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, apparently while the Christian ethos is "love thy neighbor", the version of "Christianity" prevalent in Cayman had the words "unless they are from Jamaica or Honduras" added in somewhere along the line.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its Caymanian owners who are giving the jobs to expats – go figure!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Madness, probably unlawful discrimination, and pissing away our money. I don't want to pay fees either!

    Are you exempting them from health insurance, pensions, the maintenance law and the need to pay for drivers licenses as well?

    Just enforce the immigration law!


  13. Anonymous says:

    you should never be hired or fired based on your nationality….

    the idea of caymanian only positions is stupid beyond belief……

    • Anonymous says:

      It might be stupid beyond belief to anyone who is not Caymanian but its damn time! We are overrun by foreign nationals especially those who have no road couurtesy, using filthy language and constantly being reckless and endangering the lives of others on the roads. Let me not mention the most obvious but many of them need to be sent packing rather than being here complaining about they can’t make enough money. Find another job if you don’t comply with the rules! I have had enough!