Panton calls for precise info

| 26/07/2013

(CNS): The need for accurate information on unemployment among Caymanians and their skill sets versus the jobs available will be fundamental to the new government’s goal of putting local workers first, Wayne Panton said Friday. The Cabinet minister said that, at present, the government system that is supposed to match local people out of work with vacancies is simply not working and part of the problem is the lack of accurate information recorded and held by the agency involved. Panton said that while government estimates that unemployment is somewhere between 1,900 to 2,000, it could me more or even less. But the precise information is not available and that needs to be addressed. (Photo by Mark Lewis)

Panton said government has to have accurate and credible information on not just how many people are out of work but what skill sets or experience those workers hold and exactly what jobs are available in order for it to adopt a better system that will match the two together.

Speaking on the Rooster’s morning radio show, Crosstalk, on Friday, Panton said that the government’s priority was to get unemployed Caymanians back at work, and given that the country has the unique situation where half the workforce are on permits, finding places for locals who need jobs should not be this difficult.

“Our Achilles heel is that we don’t have a system that works properly,” Panton said. “The workforce agency is designed to meet the essential needs of matching vacancies to the unemployed but it isn’t working. We need to understand who are the unemployed Caymanians and what jobs are available and then what the skill sets are of those that are out of work and what are the legitimate requirements of the employers.”

Panton said that while the majority of employers are law abiding and understand that when local people arefully employed the economy functions better, which is better for business, there are some that try and beat the system.

“We need them to know we are not going to sit idly by and accept that happening,” he added. “This government is very much interested in addressing this problem and to ensure that Caymanians are given priority for jobs, training and development as required by law.”

The minister, who has responsibility for financial services, one of the country’s two major industry employers, said the PPM government would not turn a blind eye to infringements regarding work permits and employment in exchange for political support.

“We want a fair system that benefits everyone and there is no reason why we can’t address this given that half the work force is on permits,” he said.

Echoing sentiments expressed by the former UDP labour minister, Rolston Anglin, in an interview with CNS recently about the government’s job agency not functioning properly, Panton said, “We need the best possible information to create the right policies. Without the precise information we can only guess where the problems are … It is essential for us to understand as the policies can only be informed by accurate statistics."

He continued, “Our commitment is to Caymanians, to the economy and to the country. We have a 'Caymanian first' policy and the decisions we make will be about achieving a balance between Caymanians and the needs of the economy and we are taking the necessary steps to implement policies before the end of year.” He added that he was confident the new government would achieve what it set out to do to address unemployment in the local workforce. 

Panton emphasised that this government would be enforcing not just the letter of the immigration laws but also the spirit of the law to ensure local people were participating fully in the economy.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What is now happening in the Private Sector, they are only hiring Caymanian on a temporary basis, so they don't have to pay pensions and in some cases Insurances for them. The main reason for that is so, should immigration come calling to see what the ratio is in the company in regards to foreign workers vs Caymanians, they can easily say they have these Caymanians hired.  The poor Caymanian workers cannot take their temporary employment letter to the Bank to get a loan, as temporary work is not acceptable. Anothing thing too, I believe if a worker can work pass 60, I do not see why they are not allowed to do so. Some of these older workers cannot afford to retire, as pensions were not always there for them, so they cannot live off the little drops they will collect. Its not sustainable here in the Cayman islands.

  2. Anonymous says:


    A proper study with emphasis on where Cayman needs to be headed is required, such as the Leitch Review in the UK.

    Here is a piece of that.

    "Many reports identify the need to up-skill the workforce,1, 2 with the Leitch Review of Skills setting short and long term goals for education in the UK. The Cogent Skills Review analyses in great depth the many aspects affecting the major science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries. It outlines future priorities for each industry whilst considering the role of Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in increasing the skills of the workforce within the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, nuclear, polymer and petroleum industries.1

    The Leitch Review of Skills sets an ambitious target; that by 2020 the UK will be within the top eight worldwide for each skill level, with emphasis on delivering qualifications to a far higher percentage of the workforce. The targets aim for over 90% of adults qualified to above Level 2 whilst also shifting the balance of skills from Level 2 to Level 3 as well as increasing those with Level 4 qualifications and skills from 29% to 40%, combined with increasing the number of adult apprenticeships."


  3. Whodatis says:

    These employment issues are not unique to Cayman at all.

    Someone below referred to an article that was highlighted on Facebook and I encourage all readers to click over and have a read. It is interesting that the word "UK" could easily be substituted with "Cayman" and it would be directly relevant to our current situation.

    (Also, I will declare that I was the individual who highlighted the article on Facebook. I am pleased to see it has been well received (so far) as this would not have been the case had my name been initially attached here on CNS.)

    "Firms have a duty to hire Britons rather than immigrants, a minister declared last night.

    (The following is an excerpt of my contribution from the facebook discussion in question.)

    "Re: "Unemployable / Entitled / Unskilled / Uneducated / Unreliable Caymanians in the workplace"

    Granted, many (young) Caymanians do often have a sense of entitlement … HOWEVER, this is an issue that ALL western / 1st world countries are dealing with today and is easily identified within the news article.

    The "power of the individual / worker" – as a result of trade unions, class actions, lawsuits, "human rights", employee rights etc. – have created a monster that quite frankly can pose a great threat to a company / employer. (Why do we think American, British and European companies love to manufacture their products in Asia, Latin America and other developing nations?)

    Young Brits typically have a bad attitude to work, are leaving school ill-prepared for the workforce, feel they are owed something before even contributing to society, and quite frankly they do not HAVE to work as the govt will support them. Contrast that to a foreign worker in the UK (or Cayman) – that individual is hungry and is also well aware that the options of a citizen of the country in which they are working DO NOT apply to them … hence we see a 110% dedication to the job in question.

    A sense of entitlement is NOT an issue unique to Caymanians as many people try to claim – it exists in practically every "developed / 1st world" country today.

    Unfortunately, business owners do not really care because they can circumvent this issue by simply outsourcing jobs or importing cheap (often exploited) workers … and the respective elected governments allow this to take place.

    In the end what results is a diminishing middle class, growing disparity in wealth, disenfranchised youth, rise in social unrest, rise in crime, breakdown in family structure … i.e. everything we see now taking place right here in Cayman!"

    (End of excerpt.)

    Lastly, I implore everyone to read the article and thereafter review the comments posted below. Click on "best rated" and "worst rated" – then cross-reference to the Cayman situation … the similarities are shocking!

    Every country has a right to promote and endorse its own people first. The "1st world" (of which we are a part) must come to terms with the mistakes it has made in regards to education, economic policies, globalization, immigration, salary, value of jobs, sense of entitlement etc. and make the necessary adjustments. Otherwise western society is doomed – it really is that simple.

    The profits of the businesses and corporations will HAVE to take some degree of a hit for the situation cannot be sustained as is – regardless if operating in George Town, New York or London.

    Many of our expats – white collar included – are being exploited in different ways and this cannot be tolerated in this country. E.g. Why should I, a Caymanian, be rejected but an expatriate white collar permit holder be preferred but exploited by a local firm?

    Is this the legacy we wish to uphold in the Cayman Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      My duty is to shareholders to maximise returns.  Simple.  Hiring policy is based on that and nothing else.  If there is a law that interferes hiring of someone other than the most profitable candidate we will do whatever we can to get round that problem without falling foul of the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      In reply to your last question:  Its because the local firm still has the right to hire who they want to work with and who they belive will get the job done for them.  Get over the poor Caymanians who no one will hire.  All countries have their fair share of unemployables.  In the Cayman islands they are worth more to the government then the workers are because they can vote and the workers can't.   Take away the right to vote and they are worth less then nothing to the country.  Same as everywhere else.  What do you think the legacy of the Cayman islands is right now?

  4. Anonymous says:

    So an employer seeks to hire a caymanian, goes through all the hoops with DER, starts to receive applications, and strange enough no caymanian show up or submits. Then you look over the details and you noticed they are suposed to be caymanian. When you start to interveiw a few, you can ask, "why should I hire you? what skills do you have?". the answer, "well you dont need a permit to hire me". So each and every caymanian business is looking for a caymanian to come to the interveiw, and what we get? all degree of caymanian, and not one is a caymanian. This is the facts. this is reality. every imported lazy, uneducated, arrogant person that is seeking employment is seeking to get above the average hard working half educated caymanian. Stop the crap cayman. give the employers a chance unless it can be proven otherwise. There are very few loud mouth persons, that are loud enough to make it seem they speak for 100 caymanians, when in fact they have the resentful and ignorance feelings towards there own caymanian and speak for themselves. cayman need to stop the ignorance that has taken over this island. When caymanians relize that they have to settle and start somewhere they will change the mentality. And I can tell you something, they could never go to another country if ever cayman reached to that level that we need to seek employment elsewhere. They would not even get past the application submission . So the world is getting smaller and we are all comming together, every child deserves to be brought up with a reality check, instead of telling every child they can become president and mis-leading details. let them know to win the race , they have to start the race first. same with the job enviroment. just get a job to start and do your best. and dont forget to show up on time, and to show up as well.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Definition of a true Caymanian: Just that we have several.  1.  Born in the Cayman Islands with Caymanian BLOOD LINE. Educated, work very hard, disciplined, turn up to work on time, takes one hour's lunch, carries out tasks that are assigned to them diligently, shows an interest in the organization, speaks properly,  honest and receives rewards for abiding by the rules of the organization.   YES, we do have these types of Caymanians and we MUST nurture them in the workforce. Treat them kindly, They are real and they do exist.

    2. The other types are the ones that, hiss their teeth when given a task, takes forever to complete the job, constantly on their cell phones and Face Book.  Comes to work late, takes two hour's lunch, calls in sick, shows no interest in the organization, works three days some weeks but never misses a Friday. clowns around and sometimes found sleeping on the job..  These are Caymanians between the ages of 18 and 29 with a stink attitude. These are the ones that I am afraid of because I know them.   However, I believe that we can change them.  Talking from experience, I was ONE OF THEM. But my mama kicked me out of her house and I had to grow up fast.  I learned to keep my job and count my blessings. I can provide for 'me'.  I even got a promotion because my attitude no longer stinks.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Impliict in this email is that "bloodline" means one has the characteristics of 1 and not being "bloodline" means have the characteristics of 2.  There is a word for that.  Racism.

      • Anonymous says:

        In that case racist comments against Caymanians are made every day on CNS but I'll bet you  don't object to those.

  6. anonymous says:

    One of the first things this government needs to do is to close the loop hole that is being abuse daily. Older Caymanian men and established paper Caymanian men are being used by certain females from Hunduras, Dominican Republic, perhaps Cuba, The Philipines, Panamanian and Columbian to marry them, so that they can become available to work in Cayman without learning the proper English language and just so they can stay here. This is a marriage of convenience for both parties, as no way can you be in love with your Cayman wife, divorce them for no reason and remarry so quickly and says its for love. Then what happens, the "new" wife gets the benefits of these older men pensions and the former wife that has helped these men to become decent throughout the years, are left out of the pension benefits.  Most of these foreign womens are street ladies, bar ladies and simply just wh—s, yet they automatically becomes the ladies of upper society. These ladies are the ones serving food in restaurants, working in the supermarkets and in our tourism sector and cannot read nor write in their own language, muchless speak English. These are the people that are clogging up oursystems and are blocking our very own Caymanians and tyoung Caymanians from obtaining jobs, as they are working for cheap and for maintaining their overseas families. Yes, the money is leaving Cayman, hence the reason why the Country is bleeding now.  We need the Government to investigate these happening via the Immigration, the Wedding councillors and officers and make sure to stop these abusive loop holes.  These people must make English their primary language and the pension exploitation must be stopped.  That is why I support the minimum wage of KYD7 per hour.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good start Mr. Panton. DER should set up a website and ask all those Caymanians who are unemployed to register along with their resume. They should also advertise it on the media and give a months time to register. You will see the actual numbers within a short time. Also they need to find out if they were registered with DER and had any interviews and what was the outcome. I am an accountant with several years of experience in the fund industry and was registered with DER. DER got me few interviews and when I went there they told me that they have a person who is a nonCaymanian who is doing the job for several years. What am I going to do? I have informed DER about the findings and they did nothing. Their response was for me to raise it to the Immigration about my findings. I found it strange and gave up hope with DER. This is just one incident and I am sure there are many Caymanians went through the same and lost hope. Government should have an independent enforcement agency who can take complaints and review the incidents.

    • Anonymous says:



      Should Mr. Panton fails to do what you suggested . We will never know for sure how many Caymanians are really out of work. The past Government failed to get ths information. They just sat there and didnt care what the people were saying.

      But I must differ on your suggestion for DER to gather these Data. They will never be correct.

      This department should be shut down. We need a private commission made up of Caymanians with integrity and balls. Not a group of yes people, and head noders. 

      • Cayman coconuts says:

        Hear hear.  The DER or whatever new NWDA name they are going by does not help.  How many work permit waivers are signed by them each week? A LOT! Miss Mary has her cronies and the Department does not work.

    • Anonymous says:



      That is exactly my point, the immigration department is running things when it comes to who gets hired in the Cayman Islands.

      Most incidents are similar to yours. The reason DER  pass you on to the Immigration Dept. they have  no authority, but to penalize businesses. Why are they call The Employment the first place???

      Mr. Panton, I say it again, get rid of DER and save the country Millions.

      Caymanians, form yourself a proper Employment Commission. Get rid of DER. you have the numbers to do this… get off your butts and stop relying on the politicians, they have you not in their periphery!!

      The permit fees are too sweet to abolish..they do not have to work hard to create revenue. Just call on their lacky Immigration and tell them to raise the fees. Have you noticed how fast and quick these bills pass through Parliament??

      When a bill is brought to the house for Caymanian benifits, it drags on until the mover gets discouraged and you never hear about it again.

      Ezzard brought the Fair Trade Competition Act, they dropped it and we never heard of it again. This would have put Caymanians in a better position…business wise.

      Caymanians, we have to fight this battle of Armageddon, with a trade and labour union…its the only way out of this mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep it up Mr. Panton. You guys need to start with the civil service. If you need to replace those at the top who cater to expats, then do so. Make an example of some of them and the rest will take heed. Some of them that are trying to make life difficult for Caymanians, now that they are in their the top jobs should be told that it can't and won't work like that. If they fail to work with your policy, then you should not vote any salaries for them. Force them out of government and have them replaced with experience Caymanians, and I am not referring to those paper ones that have been promoted in top jobs recently. What a disgrace!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Patch it up – or fixour economy properly?

    Good to see govt is finally tackling the issue of reliability of its data.

    Boy… we well know this one!  The people still chatting louder about this issue – but with no solutions. Chat alone is not going to get us through this, though. So, these are my opinions – from a poor consumer’s point of view.

    The businesses & Chamber have expressed their own angles on this, so I’m not trying to present a balanced argument…. Just my side of the story! 

    If government tries a quick-fix with Minimum Wages (eg. An hourly minimum wage of $8/hour), it will probably backfire.

    The businesses owners will cut back the hours for many workers, as many businesses can’t afford the expanded costs, as their income levels are probably the same.

    Most of them will still prefer to hire expats, especially the blue-collar jobs. Why? Simply – they can work them longer at no pay.  Eg. – they can work them for 10 hours (not unusual now) and record six. And they can still hold back their pension/health payments. And they can “send them back home” if they complain.

    So, this issue needs careful consideration! Even if a minimum “Monthly” wage is set, a worker can also be “laid off” for one/two months of the year.

    The Pension issue is another booming headache! What if the 10-year rollover change means that thousands of domestic/common laborers get PR & Status? Are any numbers computed for this?

    Yes, they might deserve status, but the laws for many years have dictated that they do NOT have to contribute to pensions.. so what happens when they retire as new Caymanians, but can’t meet their living expenses, or get ill? … the Cayman government pays their bills!

    But, back to the cost of shopping/living: Many business people keep using those three little words that I’m tired of hearing:

    They say they “Only charge what the Market Can Bear”.  Well, we can’t bear it any more bo-bo!

    In Cayman, as elsewhere, different incomes mean different outcomes in life…

    This example also applies to the different (and widening) social-economic groupings of people living in Cayman.

    The problem in Cayman, is that we all pay the SAME costs to live (food, gas etc), but this relative comparison (and our daily realities) show that those who can least afford these high costs actually pay through the nose!

    A rich man can pay $300/week in groceries, for he has a nice salary/bonuses/company perks.  A Poor man does not!

    Speaking of our warped tax-base, think of these ways how this is skewed in favor of businesses: Eg…

    1 Expat condo/property owners pay a one-time tax/sale duty top government. If they transfer it to relatives to their children and grandchildren from here to eternity for “Love and Affection”, but government gets not a red cent of tax any more (never mind the increased property values).   Easy solution: make this condition applicable only to natives (as it was intended when the law was written).

    2 The condos’ “Strata Fees” are often exorbitant, but akin to the owners’ tax models back home, so they pay it – yet very little goes to government.

    Salesmen know that they can form ‘companies’ to manage these holdings duty-transfer/tax free, and they do so, even with shareholders’ changing frequently.  They also control (ie. escalate) the cost of property to mammoth heights.

    3 Not to speak of the many infrastructure demands for roads, utilities, schools, policing, healthcare etc – all of which government must provide (and with expectation by many that they should pay back little/nothing).

    4 Businesses still enjoy the extended import-duty waivers, yet retail costs are still high. (Compare the price of milk & bread tothe USA/Jamaica!)

    5 Think of the many construction/landscaping companies that dump tons of garbage & waste each week – at NO Tippage Fee! Yet government is faced with solving Mt. Trashmore.

    6  Wealthy residents who send their kids to the best schools (as they well should) can then command/demand the best government scholarships – as there is still NO Means Test, to determine if a millionaire’s child should get the cash, over a blue-collar worker’s public-school child with good potential..  Another easy fix – if there is the will!

    7 The churches get government cash, but many of them only offer any assistance to “Their” members!

    8 And just WHO decides on the retail prices, and how are they set?

    Well, the businesses buy and import wholesale at bulk-discount costs.  Never mind the many items that are imported tax-free.  The economies of scale are therefore in their favor.

    The retail costs are where we consumers pay the “invisible taxes” that the business claim are so onerous… but they in turn pocket most of these profits.

    9  The profit-margins or local public companies are also expanding – and yet they say that the public should be able to ‘absorb” even minimal increase in service costs – But why increase the costs at all if you are profitting??

    It seems that the local businesses which are in ‘competition’ with each other also collaborate on their prices/marketing etc. This is almost akin to price-fixing.

    10  But it is more than dollars and cents – there are also Moral questions which most people are ignoring!

    We all know of the double-standards in work ‘permit’ applications – many of which are pre-arranged. We know the double-standards in treatment of differing nationalities or workers.

    I’ve seen it first-hand: There are certain people here who won’t let their children play with 'brown' kids in the parks!

    We know of the abuses of the domestic/labour sector – but who is speaking up for them? No one…  There are expat drivers who get the company vehicle’s gas deducted from their salaries! 

    There are helpers who are made to work for free (especially live-ins); who have bosses who done but any food in the home for them, who control their hors/free time as almost virtual prisoners, and who are often ‘respectable’ peoplein our community.

    Many people also get permits for workers who they know they don’t need full-time… and so the labor market is diluted and crime festers.

    Our tax-base is therefore unbalanced, and our wage system will take very creative minds to solve.

    There is generational nepotism now entrenched in our offices, businesses and neighborhoods. And – worse of all – there is sweeping denial about these issues.  “Until when?” I ask…

    Yes, I’ve complained a bit here – but I’ve also posed some solutions!

    I also know that there are many good employer-employee relationships and that many good, fair merchants are struggling as well.

    Regardless, I and many others are waiting desperately for someone to hear our voices, and work towards a brighter future!

    • Anonymous says:

      So in a nutshell, you don't like rich people much.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm – I really never thought about it-but the answer is NO..I like everyone!

        But your divisive, prejudiced question is indicative of the destructive mindset that prevails.

        When the economic gap is so wide, and those with the cash are making the rules, someone has to shout occasionally from the rabble..

        Right.. Right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Bo-bo!!!

      I have nothing more to add to this – thank you!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I filled out an application, provided all of the necessary paperwork for this workforce agency 3 weeks ago and I am still waiting for them to even call me to discuss my information. When I went in to inquire about how their department works the guy at the desk suggested that since I was a professional with a clean record and qualifications that is should be easy for them to find me a job.  Good grief, hate to hear the stories of the others that are hard to find work for.  Almost funny, really.

    • Caymanian laughing says:

      Please!  Try months ago and not even one interview.  This department is not trying…. at all.  The powerful "Chief Officer" has the newly elected MLA completely hoodwinked.  I cannot beleve two intelligent lawyers drank the kool-aid so quickly?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe put aside your anti-Dart mentality and put some support (or at least stop trying to quietly kill) behind Dart's hotel development, and provide some fuel to this economy.     How many 'wishful' developments have we heard of from others (yeah, that Mandarin Oriental hotel in East End ever happened, and Stan Thomas' abandonment of the old Marriott Courtyard).  At least Dart follows through.   It would have been a couple decades before the new roads into West Bay would have been built, without Dart's support.   And North Sound golf course (which loses money) would have been shut down without Dart taking it over. 

    • Caymanian Voter says:

      Dart is notorious for shutting out qualified Caymanians in favor of expat work permits! They get away with this by saying "Not Dart material" really? How does my university degree and 6 years of experience with glowing references not make me Dart material?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Not everyone who is unemployed is on the unemployment list…some of us are trying to find work on our own without having to go there.  I am being held back by government itself and for no logical reason for the last 17 months.  It seems they are eager for me to apply for government financial aid isntead fo being able to make a lviing for myself AND employ other Caymanians and make a positive contributon.

  12. Bill Maher Ebanks says:

    If this new government and Deputy Governor Manderson do not address theserious issues of ineptness, lack of urgency and value for money within the Cayman Islands Civil Sevice this country is a few short years from becoming like Greece and the city of Detroit.

    The PPM campaigned on a plan, where is it? The status quo cannot continue. Stop Talking and stating the obvious and get down to controlling expenditure. Nearly 700m is the budget for an island with a population of maximum 60,000 people and NOBODY seems concerned. 

    Tame the beast called CICSA and understand that to save the country as Elected officials they must have a vision, plan and courage to do what is right for Cayman not what is popular and guarantees re election.

    • Anonymous says:

      I assume you intended to refer to expenditure numbers which is 550,000,000 and not 700,000,000

      it would also be helpful from a credibility perspective if you provided a factual analysis with credible examples to back up the far too trite speculations you have reflected in your comments.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said, as only a learned mind could! You are right, it is "only" $550,000,000.00. What in the hell was the poster worried about anyway? I also agree with your sentiment that if neither I, nor the poster, have the specific steps to the answers to all our questions (that we are willing to share on CNS), we should all keep our mouths shut! After all we elected well educated, smart, learned polititions to represent us. Oh yea, and we should respect our Brothers and not speak evil of them…………PLEASE.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can the government help employers by keeping a list of the drunks, the crack heads, the criminals, the illiterate and the chronically idle?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Panton, you should demand a list of all employees by Cayman immigration status. Many persons described as Caymanian are in fact not as they do not hold Caymanian Status.

  15. sickntired says:

    Thought Mac pics were horrible, wow!!

  16. UH UH UH says:

     If it is correct that we have a total population of 60,000 Caymanians, and if it is also correct that we have 6,000 civil servants, then this works out to a whopping 10 civil servants per each man, woman and child. Now if we put this in perspective, based on a "conservatively averaged"  salary per CS of $3,000.00 per month, we arrive at a cost to the public purse of $18,000,000.00 [eighteen million] per month] times twelve months arriving at a total of  $216,000,000.00 [two hundred sixteen million] which works out to:  Are you ready?                                                              An unprecedented $3,600.00 per year for each man, woman & child.

    Now one has to remember that this is separate and apart from all the other tariffs and fees that are levied upon us by Government for all the other things that we may buy and/or use. And here we are again wondering why there has been an increase in crime every year for at least the last decade. There has to be something done most urgently, to rectify the situation, or we can prepare for a drastic increase in all kinds of criminal activity, with no resources to fight back.

    Why has there not  been  something done about the inflated salary scale of the civil service! Why do we continue to hire and/or promote  unqualified persons to positions for which they are not qualified? As someone once said! "They are Promoted to Their Level of Incompetence"!  There has to be a stop to the rehiring of retired civil servants "who are collecting a salary plus their retirement".  Remember these persons contribute nothing more to the economy than they would have if they were just retired, but what this outrageous manipulative piece of legislation has done, is to allow some of our "greedy" ex civil servants to be rehired, and in so doing prevent some talented young "Caymanian" from moving up in the civil service. Why do civil servants earning $100,000.00 plus be allowed to take advantage of scholarships for their children. These scholarships should be for families who are struggling to keep these talented kids in school.

    There are  persons I know [who in my opinion] were appointed to the top of boards and/or authorities, not because of their talent or knowledge of whatever business that  particular board and/or authority may conduct, but because these persons are "yes" men and women for the politician, under whose portfolio, that  particular board  and/or authority might fall. 

    These are just a few of the things that must be looked most urgently if we truly want to retake control of our destiny. There are many more things  that has to be considered, but until we have legislators and heads of departments in government, who has the desire and who will do what is  necessary, to end the in house malaise, complacency, cronyism and [sometimes corruption], we will forever  be talking about this serious problem, even  as it continues to get worse.      

    • Anonymous says:

       If it is correct that we have a total population of 60,000 Caymanians, and if it is also correct that we have 6,000 civil servants, then this works out to a whopping 10 civil servants per each man, woman and child.

      60,000 X 10 = 600,000.

      One Civil Servant for evey 10 Citizen (includng the men, women, children)

      I stopped reading after that point; You may wish to apply to the Civil Service as calculations of this nature are quite welcome. 


        Thanks  02:57 for catching that error!  Every thing else remains true though.

        I did see my error but waited to see if someone out there  would catch it.  YOU DID! 

        So congrats! "YOU ARE THE WINNER"!!!  Are you  an accountant? 

  17. The Myth of Caymanian Unemployment says:

    If they wanted work they would find it.  

    Here is a little helping hand. 


    "I wanted to send a quick note in hopes that you may know someone interested
    in temp restaurant work… We are serving as the host hotel for the upcoming
    CONCACAF Football tournament (more than 20 teams, and 1500 meals a day) and
    are seeking Caymanian or non-work permit holders for temporary staffing
    opportunities available. If you have any staff or know anyone that would be
    interested in picking up a few extra hours or shifts during the week of
    August 11 – 26th, we’d greatly appreciate if you could direct them to us!
    The positions available are:
         ·         Food server
         ·         Kitchen help
         ·         Busser
         ·         Food runner
         ·         Housekeeping
    No experience is required. The wages are between US$10-US$15 per hour flat.
    Available shifts are morning, afternoon, evening and overnight. White shirt
    and khaki pants required. Inquiries can be directed to me at
  18. Anonymous says:

    Why are caymanians so afraid to get a good basic education.? Lets take a reality check here. If all of those average caymanian men work hard year round and then take a vacation to one of the direct flight locations, and then find a "nice lady" . pretty but un-educated, and think that he is in love. Makes all the plan to marry, and follow through. His life style has to change and soon enough you will have her on the DER list listed as Caymanian and with "any positions" availible seeking employement to help the load. So in this case we have a non caymanian , that is saying they are un-employed but never was employed to begin with, and is not a caymanian. You would be surprised what a straight hair girl could do to the mind of a young caymanian. Because of politics, Mr. Panton is not able to say that we are importing un-employment and are being mis-led by wrong data. I say that if a man or woman can go and marry another nationality, the goverment should not be burdened. The point being if Goverment throgh immigration will continue to play with the lives of individuals, they will always find ways to beat the system. Silent divorce and marrige deals are a daily reality. Every caymanian deserves to have time to get to know their partner, not being told marry or they will be kicked off the island. If a caymanian wants to do a business the DER should not play the games with their investment, give them the chance to apply for a permit. We all talk the talk about the real suitation of caymanian not willing to work for basic salaries or will not work for another caymanian, so why pretend and give them a run around. There is no reason a person comes here to work cant be garanteed at least 5 years of constant work permit, instead of every year they have to be guessing or hoping. The legal system should not be a guessing game. Its in black and white. Mr. Panton, kudos to you. Dont back down unitl the data is forthcomming. Otherwise let the caymanian business apply and eek permits if it will improve the economy and their investment. I hope it is not too late when Cyamanian or "married to" can stop thinking goverment owes them anything. Work on the basic education. I am tired of seeing persons 20 to 30 years old and dont even know basic grammar or basic maths. and expecting to go frombar job or nanny to bank teller and so on. Give me a break. Get educated. Other Caymanians should not be burdened with the responsibility of giving chances to every un-educated or un-willing to work person. Just once I would like to see the loud mouth persons that always demanding for Goverment and employers to educate them, just start the process. it starts at School.

  19. Knot S Smart says:

    My question is – how could CNS snap this photo at the precise moment that a heavy object dropped on Mr. Panton's toes…

  20. Anonymous says:

    said it before…will say it again…. unemployed caymanians are unemployed through their own choice…….

    why are we even wasting time talking about people who choose not to be employed??????

    • Anonymous says:

      Because through their vote they employ Caymanian leadership.  What stands for leadership here gets their vote by pandering to them and screwing the rest.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ah…. the new trick now is changing as they scramble to find ways not to hire . One of the ways that they are doing this is hiring only part time . So that you get even  more frustrated. You have to pay for your own medical insurance. The medical insurance wants to be paid 3 months in advance. You are on part time so no pension paid either? Once you have done that they change when they need you . 

    How do you get a proper job? Who do you go to? They want to hire about 2 weeks for some party or only when they get enough tourists. I thought they said there was more tourists on the island then cruise ships ? 

  22. Anonymous says:

    said it before…will say it again…. unemployed caymanians are unemployed through their own choice…….

    why are we even wasting time talking about people who choose not to be employed??????

  23. Truth says:

    So your going to fix a system that is working by replacing employed (but unwanted) expats with unemployable(theres a reason no one will hire them) Caymanian voters.  Do you realize that what you are doing is changing the private sector so that it will work like the CIVIL service?  In other words it will cost more money then it makes.  Have you even considered talking to the Caymanian business owners first before you put many of them out of business?  All countries have their fair share of unemployables.  Especially the ones with a poor record of education like Cayman islands.  Forceing them on businesses to get votes just puts the hardship on business and all the people who rely on the businesses.  Before you get into the business of fixing private business maybe you should first try and make Government into something that is not so much of a welfare joke.  First show us how well you can fix yourself.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Of course the figures are wrong… There is a lot more to look at than just unemployment.. How many of these 2000 persons really want to work or are happy having government pay for their rent electricity and some funds for shopping? Oh and by the way I have been unemployed for 2years and still looking for work, and yes I am qualified in my field. It's not easy anymore to get a job here. I didn't blame the expats at all, I blame our politicians that don't follow up on what they say, there is not real system in place at this time, communicating with all our immigration boards and labour dept. 

    the other problem we have is we will not do menial jobs, we don't want to serve people, don't want to collect garbage and don't want to e helpers, this is not for us caymanians, plus we expect the bigs bucks, well times have changed, weneed to take what we can get deal with it and pay our bills. I am fortunate, I saved my money and probably can support myself for another year until I have to get a job, now I don't live in a big house or drive a fancy car, I have had to drop my life style a lot, but I have to do this to. I a sure speaking for myself I will get back on my feet again, if not i will happily learn a new trade and even if I have to serve or sweep the floors I will do so. 

    Lastly, going back to the social services paying for us to stay home, you know what, lets do what florida has just done, if you don't have a job and at this time times are hard, ok we will assist you but you must take a drug test, if positive, guess what no more funding for you. I know at least 40 people who collect monies every month who don't want to work because they get these funds and they do drugs everyday…

    I hope I made sense… 

    • Anonymous says:

      04; 09


      You made the most sense when you suggested a drug test be carried out, before any social service payments are made.

      We, the  tax payers are feeding alot of these druggies…and our politicians do not give a hoot, as long as they vote for them. 

    • Slowpoke says:

      Emmhh… Did you see you how many people tested positive vs. how much the testing is costing?

      Not exactly cost benefit.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. The Goavernment makes a decision, like the one to throw out the 7 year roll over, and issue further permits for 2 years then pave the road to PR, all without any usefull or pertinent information. If no one knows what the unemployment numbers are at this time, then why is the Governmnt so he'll bent on changing the rules?

    Now Mr Panton comes out publicly to say that we need more information on unemployment in the Cayman Islands. He will now spend tens of thousands of our tax dollars to have one of his friends prove to us that statistically we do NOT have an unemployment problem in Cayman and that there is no need to cut down on work permits and his buddy businessmen should be allowed to have all that they desire.

    After all, this study will prove that Caymanians are, for the most part, not so bad off after all. 

    The only news in this article is that Wayne thinks that the unemployed number could be LESS thanwhat the Government says it actually is. Mmmmmm wonder what that study will say. 

    In the main time I will just be a good citizen and pay that big CUC bill until the boys in charge can get around to dropping that rip off duty on diesel and gas. 


  26. Anonymous says:

    Apparently the Brits are also making it rough for their own too. This interesting article was posted on FB.

    Guess not only the 'native Caymanians' being labeled, disenfranchised, maybe we could bond with our fellow residents and when we go in for interviews we could show respectfully ask they not use the same lines being used on their own people. Face it, some unemployable eveyrwhere but if we leave it to businesses it will always be about the bottom-line and not about doing the right thing.

    excerpt from the article




    But he added: ‘To build a strong, long-term economy we have got to play our part in government and businesses need to take their responsibility.

    'The jobs are increasingly there – we’ve got record numbers of jobs. What we are talking about is making sure local people have a chance to get them.'

    Matthew Hancock MP

    ‘The easiest way for me to get a group of business people to nod their heads is to say that for far too long people coming out of our education system haven’t had what it takes to hold down a job.

    ‘It’s about the correct attitude, as well as skills in English and maths. We are doing a series of things in terms of reform of education and welfare to address this and we are supporting apprenticeships and traineeships for those who need better skills.’

    Mr Hancock, who is responsible for skills and has posts in both the business and education ministries, said the Government would launch a traineeship scheme next month to improve English and maths skills.

    He added: ‘We need employers to play their part because experience of a job is vital for getting a job.

    ‘We are making it as easy as possible for employers to play their part so they have no excuse for not taking on and training up young unemployed people.

    Not local: Bulgarian immigrant workers, pictured working on Vegetable Market Gardens, in Southport, Lancashire

    Not local: Bulgarian immigrant workers, pictured working on Vegetable Market Gardens, in Southport, Lancashire


    Read more: 
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  27. Anonymous says:

    All i have seen this man do is talk the talk.  Lets see some action!  Panton simply doesnt know how it works.  Caymanian is ready to replace an expat, expat is offered new contract, advertising goes out (but remember the expat has already been offered a new contract).  Caymanian knows this and wants to kick up a stink but is powerless since he will lose his job.  And before anyone asks, i have seen this with my own eyes where a Caymanian that has been evaluated EXTERNALY, deemed qualified and experienced is passed over.  Why?   It is simple, the expat is easy to control and bureaucrats surround themselves with people they can control, like a wall of stone.  The worst offenders are government themselves.  Clean up government get rid of the comfortable bureaucrats that have gasboy cards and government vehicles for private use and clear the way for reform.  No one can expect the private sector to do what the government doesn't do themselves!



    • Anonymous says:

      17:14, I would love to know who the external examiner was that you saw "with my own eyes" (I am given to understand!!!) evaluate a Caymanian but I sincerely hope that, unlike you, he could spell the word "externally".

      • Anonymous says:

        He was one of the many consultants brought in by government to train a Caymanian.  He did that and also reported that the Caymanian was as good as the expat holding the position with all the qualifications and experience needed.  Yes externally was spelled incorrectly, but let us not spiral downwards into arguments that are ad hominem and perhaps focus on reasoning.  I am simply reporting publicly what I have seen.  It is a wider problem than many would believe not because as one poster said that employers want to employ the best but more that the top level bureaucrats in government fear their own being more competent than they are.  Many in top positions are there because of nepotism, familyism and quite bluntly tribalism.  Contrary to popular belief there are many hard working and well qualified, experienced Caymanians out there and given the chance they would excel!

      • UH UH UH says:

        To 18:56: Do you realize how "ridiculously stupid" you appear to be,  putting down 17:14 because of a misspelled word.  He left out one "L" which could have  happened to the best of spellers.

        But listen to yourself speak in the short piece you wrote criticizing 17:14. There are three grammatical errors in that short piece. Therefore your assignment for the week is to find them and let us know what they are, and if you do, you will receive a shiny "Gold Star".  "Have Fun". 

        • Anonymous says:

          8:47, I am not the original poster @ 18:56, but could you identify for us the three grammatical errors you refer to? Thanks.

          • Anonymous says:

            10:47, ignore the post from 8:47. I am a teacher of English and there are NO grammatical mistakes in the post by 18:56. You could quibble about the use of brackets or something ( not "grammatical" errors) but I regret to say 8:47 is a mischievous dingbat who does not have a clue. Sadly, like a lot of "all knowing" posters on CNS.

            • Anonymous says:

              The poster was making a valid point that too much was being made by the previous poster about a mere typo. Funny, you didn't go off on that poster being a "mischievous dingbat".

              • Anonymous says:

                So, 17:35, in drawing attention to what you believe to be a "valid point" by the poster, you accept that his downright lie about grammatical errors to support his unsupportable case was ok? No wonder Jesus wept.

                • Anonymous says:

                  My point is why are you so exercised about this particular poster's petty comments about spelling/grammar and not the other's?  Double standard it seems.

            • Anonymous says:

              So is all dese English teachers a stir up rde as strife in a dis ya Caymans?

    • Anonymous says:

      For heaven's sakes the man has been in office less than two months. I say give a govt. 6 months to a year before we start to criticise them.

      • Anonymous says:

        We don't need speech after speech.  We need tangible action, results, improvement immediately.  You dont go into an election without a plan.  Once elected the plan should be executed, not six months later!  There will never be a precise figure with no income tax, or social security and other such methods of substantive data collection, this is already doomed to failure and a waste of time.  All that needs to be done is to enforce the laws of immigration and demand those succession plans are executed paving the way for Caymanians to move upwards and the entry of more Caymanians into the work force.  Vocational training schools are badly needed too.  Not every Caymanian wants to be a lawyer or accountant, not all have the aptitude for it either, but we do need more electricians, plumbers, car mechanics etc. Well paid skills that are in demand

      • Anonymous says:

        There was many months and years leading up to the election. Some of them in the new government have never even sat a day in the Legislative Assembly to see how it works, what the protocol is, what proper etiquette should be exercised, and we talk about all the educated and qualified members we now have?

        The picture for this story ( look at the backdrop) is from a political meeting . Did you listen to the first day in the Legistrative Assembly, the cell phones did much vibrating and disturbing the majority of the members during their speeches.The would be politicians would benefit greatly from the classes offered for the young parlimentarians. Anyone desiring this high office should prepare themselves for the job.

        We need caring law makers who will ensure that they make informed decisions based on fact.

        Please set up a system that works to record the data needed. Ensure that one of the questions on that questionaire relates to your status in the Cayman Islands.

        Persons who are in the Cayman Islands as  work permit holders and who are ( not working) unemployed should be returned to their country, rather than be left alone to "find work" which in most cases is detrimental to the reputation of the Cayman Islands.

        The Government should look at the ( not working but having a work permit) unemployed work permit holders and give them a mandatory break in their stay in the Cayman Islands.

        I have known of instances, where expats not having work, would say they are leaving and then use the month given by the immigration to find another job and a work permit would be taken out for them. 

        The number of crimes being committed by senior, trusted persons in firms, pension plan administrators etc are in the news very frequently. Do we have a system that works which actually performs background checks ( from their home country) on some of these individuals we are employing through the work permit- immigration or civil service system? 

        I also note that every day there is an announcement of a shuffle on the various boards? Is all of this really necessary. Instead of there being continuity, each new government tears down whatever was started by the previous government and on and on we go. Think of all the displaced Caymanian families in these instances. Who is creating these problems?

        I looked at a recent article with all of the staff in the Auditor General's office trying to find a Caymanian and unfortunately I could not identify one from the names listed or in the photograph.

        Think about these things.While we are an inclusive and welcoming people, we do need to remember that charity begins at home. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "…the expat is easy to control…"


      Yup, that says it all. Caymanian employers love expats because the will put up with low wages, unpaid medical premiums, unpaid pension premiums, and unpaid overtime. Plus the expats are expected to show up on time (rain or shine) and do the expected work.


      This is easy for the Caymanian employer because the Caymanian employer controls the work permit. If an expat employee complains of abuse, the can be off the island within a few days, problem solved.


      Control over a local Caymanian cannot be done like this. Therefore, local Caymanians are not employed by Caymanian employers.


      Caymanians go to church on Sunday to pray. On the other six days a week, they prey on each other. Sad.

      • Anonymous says:


        If the expats are easy to control, due to employers holding them hostage…controlling them.

        Then let them apply for a work Visa, before arriving here…. they will be free to work with any company within their field. This could work similar to the US green card.

        Caymanian employers love the expats workers, because they have a meaning purpose to come here and work….mainly to better their way of life, educate their children, back in their own country.   

        They are on the job  early, dont have to run errands during their work hours, have good work ethics and attitude,  dont carry any envy or jealousy for their employers. Expats will work the days that the company need them  to work. 

        Most small businesses  have been in opperation  for 20 to 30 years. In regards to the overtime, pension and health,and high fees. These atrosities were levid on all businesses by the past Governments. Most of them  are barley scrapping the bottom to keep afloat. The law doesnt allow for any concessions for small businesses.

        And dont you tell us to shut our business down, because we cant afford these fees, we've been around longer than three generations, and many governments. We have families to raise and bills to pay.

        No one wants to control Caymanians over the expats. In the past,mostly all Caymanians performed good in the work place, only God knows what happened to them these days.


      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm….that doesn't just apply to Caymanian employers, but to expat employers as well so you can get off your anti-Caymanian rhetoric.  

    • Anonymous says:

      "Why?   It is simple, the expat is easy to control and bureaucrats surround themselves with people they can control, like a wall of stone." Not in many cases, when the reason is that the employer simply wants the best candidate and does what they can to avoid sinking to the mediocrity of the merely "suitably qualified".

      • Anonymous says:

        lol. There are plenty of mediocre expats employed on this island.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Wayne you hit the nail on the head!!..i have been saying this for years…what are the skills and capability of those Caymanians that are out of work?….only when we know this can we seriously talk about placing them in a job. Given the change in the world economy and advent of the internet, we may find that we have to change even our education system to find jobs for our people. Not as simple as saying send some work permit holders home and all Caymanians will have work….not that simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the Caymaians thats out of work are the unskilled thats the older Caymanians. But the younger who mhas had good training and education cannot get jobs either because those in positions to give the jobs are mostly paper made Caymanians. As soon as they find out that they are Caymanians thats the end of their applications. I know of a girl father being a Bracer, the mother a resident holder who has been out of school for the past  2 years and has tried everywhere for a job and without success. She did very well in school and was raised by a very hard working mother and she never had the priveledge of even knowing her father as he died shortly after she was born. How do you think she feel . The girl dispite not getting a job holds her head up high and just manage to get by from her mothers meagre domestic salary. Around here the rich gets richer while the poor gets poorer. Can you imagine dumping more poor people on the Island who are in similar situations?  Just asking for people to become criminals when they cant get jobs. Remember guys a hungry man is an angry man…

    • Anonymous says:

      How many of them come to these shores and are not qualified for the job and are employed.  The caymanians have to train them to take their job and the process continues until they are all sidelined and kicked out the door.  Permits are issued for junior staff and with a few months that permit holder is promoted to a higher position.  When is the correct permit fee paid? 

      We are being screwed left, right and centre.

      • Anonymous says:



        You could be right in your observation….but these people have other values that Caymanians lacken. Good work ethics, respect and good manners.

        My grand mother always told me way back, good manners will take you where money cant. Maybe that is what is happening to us caymanians…we lost it.

        We worry about others coming to our shores, and we start to build up a hateful  attitude. We do not want the cow, just the milk.

        I will tell you all, we have to accept and live peacefully with these new comers, they have been coming here for a long time.

        Bringing new money and ideas. Yes they also bring new employment for their own. but we are the ones that droped our guards and werent prepared…its called intitlemnent.  

      • xpat 423177 says:

        I have never had a Caymanian train me in anything.

      • Anonymous says:

        22.29…think you been a little on the ganja over the weekend…are you for real??

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason he can't get the info is the reason no business wants to hire Locally.  CIG is already full of people who can't do the work they get payed for.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think some research should be carried out to ascertain how many of these unemployed Caymanians are at what level education wise and what kind of jobs they have been seeking. I mean if you did not graduate from school how high a banking job can you look for?

      You must start low and build up.

      Of course on the other side there are expats coming here straight out of school and they are being trated as if they have 20 years work experience.

    • Anonymous says:


      Of course Wayne hit it on the head,any honest Caymanians will tell you that there are many of us that can't be employed.

      Still a few hanging on to entitlement….thou!

      Let's face the fact, why do we have 20,000 on work permit? if the Caymanians had showed the businesses that they were reliable from the beggining, all of the unemployed would have jobs today.

      Our own Caymanians have screwed it up for the few that really want to work.

      The result of of this has the employers  scared to hire them.

      I have been in business for 32 years, and it is very hard to find my own people that really want to work for me.

      Some  of them are jealous that  certain Caymanians have a business of their own, they envy you, and show you no respect.

  29. Anonymous says:

    As an employer of over 60 Caymanians, this is refreshing to hear. Gov't also needs to track reasons why some of the continuously unemployed are not hired. A few of the major reasons in our business are…showing up to the interview late, not showing up at all, poor to indifferent attitudes about the job applied for and poor to no basic math and/or written english skills. While we work very hard to hire Caymanians, no one should be required by law or otherwise to lower the bar on a fundamental job qualification requirement to fit an unqualified applicant. Being Caymanian is a nationality, not a qualification. That said, we have an amazing group of Caymanians working with us. They are some of the best employees we have and I only wish we could find more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Being Caymanian is an immigration status, not a nationality.

    • Anonymous says:



      I am a professional expat who had the pleasure of working with several Caymanians who were:


      – Educated

      – Professional

      – Hard working

      – Capable

      – Lovely people

      – professionals who could work successfully anywhere in the so called first world consulting industry

      – professionals who had an extremely good work ethic


      As an employer, finding more Caymanians like this is gold for profitability to local Caymanian businesses.


      We must nurture and grow more of these individuals.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm – define 'Caymanian' first!

    • Anonymous says:

      …."define Caymanian first". Ok. Here we go: " Many excellent workers as good as any employees anywhere but far too many lazy, unreliable, terrible attitude when spoken to about performance, entitled, always whining about others taking the jobs they wont do".

    • UH UH UH says:

      Definition of A TRUE BORN CAYMANIAN: Anyone born in the Cayman Islands, who were born of  "a man and a woman" who were born in the Cayman Islands,  whose Grand Parents were born in the Cayman Islands, whose Great Grand Parents were born in the Cayman Islands.


      Definition of a TRUE CAYMANIAN: Anyone born in the Cayman Islands who are the offspring of "aman and a woman" who were born of the Cayman Islands.


      Definition of a CAYMANIAN: Anyone born in any country in the world of at least one "True Caymanian Parent" and who has resided in the Cayman Islands since infancy, and by age eighteen has attained a Cayman Passport.


      Everyone who have been granted permission to reside permanently in the Islands are;           NATURALIZED  CITIZENS       

      • Anonymous says:

        Well that diatribe will certainly help our new Caymanians want to assimilate.  

    • Anonymous says:

      A Caymanian that we call Caymanian are those that did not have to apply or was given during that crazy period of not applying. Also those that was here like 40 yrs ago and helped us to build Cayman. To those Johnny come lately and found it a paradise and despise us Caymanians you know what we call you….

    • Anonymou says:

      The law has done that.  Get over it or elect people that will change it.  If you don't now the legal definition look it up!

    • Anonymous says:

      A caymanian, one who was born to parents, whose grand parents and great grand parents were born in the Cayman Islands, and as many generations down the lineage.  Not half breed from outerspace, not paper status, by  birth on one of three islands or in the case of birth overseas, the parents were both born in the islands or the mother/father and grand parents were born in the Cayman Islands.    I am a fifth generation born Caymanian.  Did not arrive by plane but by pain.

    • Anonymous says:

      its in the law

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly – that's the point.. and who wrote this law?

        OR better yet – FOR WHOM was the law written?

        To benefit the native people, or to ensure a flood of immigrants (some good, some bad) actually boost the population numbers?

        The problem arises when the word 'Caymanian' is used to tar and feather all natives with a broad brush, while leaving out all the new 'Caymanians' who are also making significant impacts on our society – good and bad.


        • Anonymous says:

          to 15;46


          The answer to your observation. All caymanians should dump their local passprt, and let the immigration department  process us for jobs. lol!

  31. Rock Iguana says:

    It really is beyond ridiculous that we do not have a handle on the true unemployment numbers.

    How is it possible that a civil service of 6,000 employees, serving no more than 60,000 residents, with an annual budget of $600,000,000, can be so utterly ineffective?

    A country of our size and with our resources should be more easily navigated than the Titanic.

    It is good that Mr. Panton has drawn attention to this mess.


    • Anonymous says:



      It all starts from  the top. The ineptness starts from the boss of these civil services department.

      they are just like our elected government. do not care!!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    He must be the Minister for Labour in waiting…

  33. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Panton you need to start with the civil service itself who have a number of foreigners in positions that Caymanians can fill. There are Caymanians out there with medical qualifications who have been trying for years since returning from college in the states to get employment with the HSA and they have been unsuccessful. Just FOI, like I did, the HSA for a complete list of positons at that facility asking for the expiration date of contracts and ask them to identify the foreign contracts – you will see what I am talking about. Even clerical officer postions and cashier positions are held at the HSA by foreigners. Until something is done about this department and others your comments are a joke

  34. Anonymous says:

    A good place to begin would be to have a public register of all unemployed to post their details. The system should be set to accept information only once per person, say within a year.

    When persons/ businesses are applying for permits, please change the immigration form so that businesses will have to make a declaration to include names, nationalities, skills, pay levels and accrediation for employees as applicable. Persons are coming to our Island in one position and before long they are in another position ( higher level, more senior position with different responsibilities than those which were advertized and for which the individual came to the Island). There was an article recently that indicated that the firm wanted to promote some of their employees, but the Immigration had to sign off. I was pleased to hear that, because those persons were no doubt on work permit and would have come to the Cayman Islands in lower positions and now being made partners. There are many young qualified lawyers in the Cayman Islands.

    Persons may say that this is taking it too far, however, there are Caymanians who are qualified, willing and able to take some of these positions that businesses are applying for work permits.We have to have a balance in our Island. We must balance the number of foreign workers in our Island with the locals.

    Why should we have to buy local, but everyone that is serving us in the restaurants, Ice cream/ smoothie parlours, cashing you at the register in all the supermarkets, answering the telephone, cutting the lawns, doing the domestic jobs, cleaning the apartments, managing the banks, trust companies, law firms and other business etc have to be foreigners? 

    Businesses are also discriminating against persons because of their day of worship ( religious beliefs). Little do they know that those persons who are truly committed to God will give the employer more on the days that the employee works; and the employee will have the one day off. These employees are honest, reliable, trustworthy and usually give more that they are paid for.

    If the unemployment problem that we are facing in our  3 Islands is to fixed, those Caymanian business owners, must make a concerted effort to hire Caymanians first and realize that it is actually an insult to the Caymanian populace to be out of work, having to be worrying about where the next dollar is coming from, and go to the supermarket to buy the very bare essentials, and have a foreign national cashier, scanning your items and collecting the money.  Some positions should definitely should be reserved for Caymanians only. 

    I hope that this helps.


    • Anonymous says:

      We need an Employment Commission (made up of born Caymanians because like it or not that's where we are these days) to interview all Caymanians seeking jobs who can't find them, investigate the validity of their qualifications and write a report on what their assessment of the capabilities of these Caymanians is following interview and testing. Then we would know just how true it is or isn't that there are all these brilliant Caymanians out there being done out of jobs. As a proud born Caymanian who has interviewed around 40 young or youngish Caymanians in the last two years, I can tell you that there are far too many complete phonies calling themselves "qualified' with "degrees" from "Christian" colleges (who don't seem too fussy about what degree they give their students). I think an Employment Commission would be shocked at some of the people they interviewed.

      • Anonymous says:


        Totally agree!

        It has to be taken out of the Governments hands. The employment commission cannot be tied to anything political.

        it is the only way caymanians will be able to get back to where they were 25 years ago….economically.

        The 80s were the best years, all had work, businesses were booming. we had a population of 18,000 and around 3,000 on work permit. The entransit workers came, got a 6 months or 12 month work permit. when the work slowed down, they returned home and waited for you to call them.
        No one ran to the Immigration Department, or the Employment department, to complain that you had no more work for them, and were seeking compensation. They worked, we paid them….gave them a bonus, and everyone were happy.

        Now today, with the laws that our past Governments have levid on us, no one wants to leave, as soon as there is no work, they run to Immigration and Employment department….which in turn  oppress the businesses to compensate these employees. They end up  renewing their work permits, just to keep them here. hence the reason, some are here long pass 10 years.


        • Anonymous says:

          Erm, 13:23, did you read beyond the first sentence of my post? I would assume you did not.

    • Anonymous says:

      You kinda said it yourself… Not many Caymanians are willing to serve (SERVE) in restaurants, act as cashiers, answer telephones (cause dry too busy chatting and texting deh friends) , cut lawns or do domestic work…

      Sense of entitlement says we don't have to do this, we can skip to the lawyer and doctor jobs, and that's that.

      I am a proud Caymanian. I have worked restaurant tables, backed at bars, sold newspapers and done waterworks jobs in the blazing sun. I have pound the pavements and taken the most menial of jobs.

      I realize that no one is entitled to anything they didn't work for. And I worked. And now I have a nice life, a family, kids and a successful business of my own. I own my house and make the most of the life I have.

      All around me my fellow Caymanians bitched, moaned, and demanded positions they had not worked for nor had experience for. Today they do the same… Sad, but true.

      Slow and steady wins the race. Get in there, put your head down and work. You perform and you will reap the rewards. You demand and you deserve whatever you get. Even if that is nothing or a showing to the door.

      The sense of entitlement amoungst us has to stop – we are better than that, we CAN do it, we just have to buckle down, be prepared to wait, and go for it. 



      • Anonymous says:



        My hat off to you, my hard working Caymanian! This is the type of Caymanian i grew up with in the late 60s.  I dont know how old you are…I can say, my obserevation of my own people , we have lost  three generations of hard working Caymanians.

        This attitude of entitlement has to stop, no one owes us anything. in the 60s and 70s most of us went somewhere else to find work. We worked at various minial job. Today I own a business.


    • Anonymous says:

      Check out the Courts Listing and see the amount of Companies applying for application on behalf of attorneyhs to practice in the Cayman Islands,  That is why our young Caymanians cannot get employment or training here. Does the Labour and Employment Department ever monitor the Courts list posted online????

      • Anonymous says:


        You ask a big question, does the Labour and Employment Department ever monitor the courts list posted online??

        I beg to ask,do they monitor and unemployed..this department should be shut down, it would save the tax payers millions.

        The immigration department has all the say of who gets hired in the Cayman Islands.

        The employment department was set up to penalise businesses only.

        Why are you people beating up your chops all these years, over why the employment department not helping you find jobs?

        What you people need to understand is, no government is going to yeild to your whim, to find you all a job.

        Let me say this, you have to get mature and grow some balls, if there are enough of you that are really hurting for a job. Join yourselves a labour union. do not let others mislead you, every civilized country has one.

        Caymanians have always been easy to devide.

  35. JTB says:

    The problems with Caymanian employment are in our schools and homes. If you do not have the qualifications or the desire to do the jobs available, you're not going to get hired.

    We also face a choice. If we want to continue employing thousands of people in overpaid non-jobs in the civil service, then we need the work permit fees to keep coming in.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Panton, admirable, but you cannot get the information without both guarantees of anonymity and enforcement. How manyhundreds of Caymanians have applied for internal promotions for positions held by work permit holders and not only been denied promotion but had eventhe fact of their application concealed from immigration? are you really willing to enforce the Law ( which by the way would now require revocations of PR and the forced removal of a number of senior expats, or are you just making false promises to your people like every politician before you?)

    Letting people who have lied to or are the product of lies to the authorities advance to become Caymanian themselves, is an ultimate betrayal of the Caymanian people.

    I wish you luck.

  37. And another Ting says:

    LIke Mr. Anglin or not he is right.  The unemployment situation is more than a topical issue, it is one which is affecting  the lives of our own people and has far reaching implications for the present and for the future if we dont stop and think not just of today but of  our future.

    The pundits  that continually voice opinions on the subject of labor and unemployment  have never asked the question of what skill sets do our unemployed people have and what work permit jobs are available that match those skill sets.  This indeed is the first step in determining what action can be taken in terms of placement of Caymannians, in terms of retooling and retraining Caymanians or Government creating other labor opportunities on a long term basis. 

    We continually tie the unemployment of Caymannians to the roll over policy, but, the reality is that we have failed miserably in creating a proper Immigration Policy that deals effectively with the self created monumental expansion of Business and Laws created to support them. This therefore has created the present dilemma that leads us to pandering for pandering sake without a realistic approach as to why and how do we afford the Universal right of permanent abode. Immigrant workers were initially considered transient workers., and it is only recently that we have been forced to examine,understand and give  due consideration to the respect for their rights to acquire citizenship in a country which they  live for an extended period of time, added to which is the need for appropriate and permanent laws of the country and  the  present and long term goals of the Cayman Islands.

    It is because of the lack of foresight and the accomodating nature of old that we are faced with this dilemma and "now" not later  is the time to chart out (in conjunction with our people, the Economists amongst us and the Business sector) as to where and how we want this country to go forward.  With the understanding of how all of the industries perceive either future growth or further down side effects based on their particular business sector as well as the factors that affect them and; what the Government understands of the desires of the people and its own financial predicaments over the next 10 years. Based on this  a full and comprehensive plan can be developed for these Islands.  At the forefront of the plan and/or thrust has to be the essentiality of having our people fully trained in he industries that are here ( with combined support of Government and the Private sector) but also those of the future, science and technology amongst them.  Obviously inward investment  plays a big part in the scheme of planning and there will be elements of negotiation that must beundertaken in goofd faith and which should always take into consideration the greater good of the people of the Cayman Islands.

    Until we stop decrying administration after administration and do not call for a formal and effective national dialogue on our needs and of thsose who we have opened our doors, for and thise which are to come immigrant and native, we will be continuosly looking for the "answer that is blowing in the wind"


    And Another ting.


  38. Anonymous says:

    Damned unreasonable and irresponsible politician behaviour if you ask me. Fancy asking the CS to come up with relevant and useful information, and on a Friday!!!!! or, come to that, on any day! God, somebody might actually have to go to work!

    Think we better get another 1900 staff in on top of the 6000 we already have in order to sort this mess out, and get to the bottom of this problem once and for all!!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Well said Wayne!!!  Most of the unemployed were born in 2002 (status grants).    

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for that incisive and informative comment, 14:17. I know it's not popular on this site to ask for evidence of an assertion such as this but I take it from the confidence behind your post you know you are on firm ground when making your statement so, sorry, could I ask you to provide empirical evidence of your claim? I will then get back to you and we can possibly have a valuable discussion based on facts rather than the hearsay which is, alas, so prevalent on this site.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fri 14:17, since you did not come back to me, we can presume that like a lot of the assertions on CNS, yours is entirely without merit as you cannot bring any evidence whatsoever to support your claims.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Unemployment occurs when people without work are actively seeking and fit to work. Our unemployment statistics should not be based on total population of Cayman – work permits = unemployment figure.  This would present a grossly inaccurate estimate.  People at schools and colleges are not unemployed.  Those with a disability preventing them from being able to seek and hold gainful employment are not unemployed.  The incarcerated population of Northward are not unemployed.  Those over pensionable age are not classed as unemployed.  Self-employed cannot also be unemployed.  If you are unfit to work, you are not unemployed.  Cayman needs to force all Caymanians who are actively seeking work to register as unemployed, and their details to be input into a database for cross-referencing against future vacancies.  If they don't register, they're not seeking work and should not form part of the unemployment statistics.  Simple.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Hear dat?  Dey comin fa U!  Betta watch out!

    Seriously though the days of jobbing the system to hire your countrymen and women from elsewhere whether they are competent for the job or not are clearly coming to an end.  Best you get with the program and start employing workers legally.  You will be paying for it one way or the other, hopefully through stiff fines for fraudulent documentation and lies.   Otherwise you yourself may find yourself back in the country where you could not secure yourself a job regardless of YOUR qualifications. 

  42. Anonymous says:

    The Government is going to have a hard to determining an actual figure on who is unemployed. Frankly there is no way for the Gov't Agencies to actually determine if someone is receiving an income or not. How do we as a country know that the figures being quoted of 2,000 unemployed is accurate when there is no way that the persons registered with DER are actually unempoyed, under employed… or fully employed but just looking for a better opportunity to come up?

  43. This is so simple says:

    "the government system that is supposed to match local people out of work with vacancies is simply not working …" Really?

    Simply and easy to fix!

    Any employer who has EVER filed a work permit can tell you that if an Immigration form or relevant detail is missing, then the applications are bounced back FAST by the Immigration Department.

    Simply have ALL interested Caymanians (who see jobs in TODAY's Friday newspaper or other daiy job adverts) send their reseume to the NWDA or a Job Czar.  When the application goes before the Business Staffing Board and Immigration Baord, it will be CLEAR that a dozen "Qualified" applicants applied for the job….

    The ownership as we have it now of asking employers to be "Honest" and submit Caymanian resumes along with their work permit application has FAILED and still creates the dreaded poison pen letters about locals to tear down their ability to get a job so that the work permit is apporved. – Thank goodness for FOI, but most Caymanians never investigate that their application NEVER made it to the Boards.

    We already have 2 of the 3 steps covered.  1.) Jobs ares advertised.  2.) Immigration kicks them back out with the incomplete application forms so they ARE looking at the applications at the time of submission.

    What is missing (Step 3) is the part where the Business Staffing Board actually SEES that Caymanians have applied for these positions and WHAT they have submitted.  (Caymanian resumesgo into the shredder and references are discounted as hearsay instead of legit references = simply shameful, but day to day practice for most professional firms here.)

    It is only fair and reasonable the the Business Staffing Board and Immigration Boards actually see the volume of local applicants for each job posted.  It will be an eye opener.

  44. Anonymous says:

    there should be some compensation for employers who lose a dedicated work permit holder to employee said Caymanian who needs a job, only to find that that Caymanian constantly is late for work, calls in sick or just doesn't perform.

    • Anonymous says:

      There should be some compensation?   Are you serious? I take it you are one of those dedicated work permit holders. Did you check what you just wrote? ….."employers who lose a dedicated work permit holder to employee said Caymanian who needs a job.." Your employer wouldn"t need to be compensated for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      There should be some compensation from employers for suitably qualified Caymanians who are passed over in favour of expats. 

  45. Anonymous says:

    I don't think this photo goes with what was being said here.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Alleluia! A voice of sense at last.  I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I've asked Employment Relations (Labour) to provide a person with a certain skillset only to be bombarded with a litany of inexperienced applicants who do NOT fit the bill nor have any expreience in the profession which I requested.   Yet they insist that I interview them.  Damn joke.  Kudos Mr. Panton – a head of reasoning and common sense at l-o-n-g last.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:03, you must be really silly expecting to be provided with people with a certain skillset. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. Are they Caymanians? That's the only relevant qualification.

    • Cayman GT says:

      Yes, the NWDA needs to be revamped and start working with actual skilled Caymanians.  How MANY work permit 'Waivers' do THEY issue? I hear dozens a week Tara!?!  Just another side step in the process!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      To Alleluia! A voice of sense. … I have to agree with you. That whole department needs to be revamped. My place of employment closed down and I registered with them. I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and over twenty years of experience in the financial industry and they called me to ask if I would be interested in a Cashier's position at Camana Bay

  47. Anonymous101 says:

    I think its time for work permit issues to be separated from immigration issues. Let the Immigration Department deal with only immigration issues, and give the Labor Department more powers to ensure Caymanians get work!

  48. Anonymous says:

    "Panton said that while the majority of employers are law abiding and understand that when local people are fully employed the economy functions better"  a completely false premise – fullemployment is very inflationary.  Employers who understand economics will not agree with this crass statement.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Utter BS. Let's just round everyone up, microchip them and link them into the central database or in Star Trek vernacular, "Let's just integrate everyone iinto the collective."

    Mr. Panton, who is feeding you these lines? The politicians of Cayman have NEVER been fair to the less privileged among their people. Yet they sit in gilded halls and feast on the finest.

    How about rolling your sleeves up?


  50. Weighing the scales says:

    Let's look at the rough figures: 

    About 2000 locals are out of work, right?!  

    And you have about 22000 expats with work, right?! 

    So why is it so hard to find a job for at least 200 of them?!

    They all can't be lazy like what they claim!

    • Anonymous says:

      No, 11:44, it's not just laziness. It's unreliability, poor attitude (entitlement), qualifications from dodgy places usually Bible Schools, terrible spoken and written English skills (this is a MAJOR one).

    • Cayman GT says:

      Hear, hear! They are Not all as lazy as the public has beened to believe.  When I interview young Caymanians I tell them full stop, " You were working side by side with people from overseas who have come up the ranks by hard work so you must work hard too."  You will be compared with people whose parents gave up luxuries to send them to college to get this job, you'll be working with people who spent their youth waitressing or side jobs to scrap together a college degree, You will be working with people that know their resumes last forever and references mean everything.

      I tell conveniens that you will have to be as good as everyone else in this company and I also do not look at 10 six days this extra holiday time.  Any Caymanian that works for me to better realize that if you call in sick more than three or four times a year you are now in my sites and your review will be poor.

      I expect some casual overtime at least once a month, come in on Saturday to clean your desk, make coffee for the rest of the stuff, stay late one or two nights a month,

      I want to hire and promote locals.  A long term 20 year employee that has pride in their job is more valuable to me than a five or 10 year work permit holder

      We need better training for our young people entering the job market. Show up to the interview on time, dressed well, and be ready to answer the question of how you are going to break the Caymanian stereotype!  The 20,000 work permits need to drop to 15,000 and the government needs to lower the numbers in the civil service as well. Doing one will assist the other.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are actually closer to 30,000 expats in employment. There are 24,000 work permit holders and there are also thousands of persons married to Caymanians or Permanent Residents who are also working and in some cases displacing Caymanians from employment.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Well said, Wayne. And for the first time I believe the govt. has the political will to carry it through.

    • Cayman GIrl says:

      So WHERE is Immigration Enforcement ? Another failed Govt department. 


  52. Anonymous says:

    Ha! So Rooster doesn't credit CNS for blatantly stealing its news, now CNS doesn't credit Rooster when quoting things Ministers said on the radio show. Good for you CNS, let's see how they like it!

    CNS: Actually the line that says: "Speaking on the Rooster’s morning radio show, Crosstalk on Friday, Panton said … " indicates we did, and always do … as Rooster should.