Locals wanted for TLEP jobs

| 25/09/2013

(CNS): In the face of continuing controversy regarding the 1,522 Term Limit Exemption Permit holders who are all about to get the go-ahead to stay in Cayman, government has said that Caymanians will have an opportunity to apply for all of the jobs. The premier’s office has said that local workers interested in filling any of the jobs for which they are qualified are urged to apply so that the immigration department has all of the relevant information required in determining the grant or refusal of new work permits. With the pending change in the law, if employers do not disclose that a Caymanian applied for a job, they will face a hefty fine.

“Employers should note that it will now be an offence, carrying a fine of up to $20,000 in the first instance, for an employer to fail to disclose to the Immigration Department when making an application for a work permit that a Caymanian, a spouse of a Caymanian or a permanent resident has applied for the position,” the release from the premier’s press secretary said, following the publication of the new Immigration Law Amendment bill, which is expected to be debated in the Legislative Assembly next month.

However, There is still no comment from the premier’s office regarding the suspected Cabinet split over this element of the proposed new law, which will see over 1,500 people returned to the work permit system next month who would have been rolled over last year. Government is pressing ahead with the change in the law, which will allow all of these workers to make a permanent residency application before the year’s end under what will also be a new processing regime that government has indicated will be much more robust and efficient, if the bill makes it through the Legislative Assembly next month.

The TLEPs were created by the previous administration and they effectively kicked the can down the road to the current government to deal with this pressing but controversial problem. Cayman was in facing the problem of around 2,500 work permit holders departing from the islands in a relatively short period, many of whom were in the tourism sector. This was as a result of many workers beginning then seven year term limit more or less at the same time in the post Hurricane Ivan recovery period.

The UDP government came up with the special permit to allow them all to stay for up to two more years, but now all of the 1,522 remaining holders of TLEPs are, as the law stands now, due to depart Cayman on 28 October. Fearing the negative impact of such a mass exodus of these workers and their families on the economy, the new PPM government is proposing to regularize these workers into what will be a new work permit regime, which will allow all foreign workers to stay in Cayman for up to nine years and make a residency application.

In order to ensure greater efficiency and transparency of the immigration policy, the chief immigration officer and people designated by her will now be allowed to process all types of work permit applications, including those where a Caymanian has applied for the position. 

Going forward, permanent residence applications will be processed administratively as well as by the Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency Board. Accompanying the new regime will be much stricter rules, and to discourage abuse of the work permit system, it will no longer be possible to work beyond the date of refusal of an application for a work permit while awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Among the many other changes proposed in this, the first two major overhauls of the immigration law and regulations planned by the new administration, is a new solution to tackle bad payers. To address the problem of permanent residence fees not being paid on time, or at all, it will now be required that all fees must be paid at the time of making the application for permanent residence. This includes the application fee, issue fee, fees in respect to dependents and the annual fee in respect of the first year. The fee to make an application for permanent residence is being increased to $1,000.

Stronger grounds for the removal of permanent residence right are also in the bill, which would see holders who are delinquent in respect to payment of their annual fee lose their residency. Working in an occupation that is not authorized on a certificate or failing to make the required annual declaration could also see residency revoked.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I will never allow someone I don't want to be employed in my business.  Period. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You're precisely the type that should not be allowed to enjoy the priviledge of running a business.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What jobs will go overseas? They want to live here. What we need from them is a cost of living salary. If not then it won't make a difference who gets hired for the job. People need to remember  when they were on a work permit they made less money .They  were constantly under control by employer like master and slave. When they got there status or PR it didn't change . They stopped working for someone and worked for themselves. Isn't that true? We're talking about domestics and other blue collar workers that became cooks,beauticians,taxi drivers, bus operators ,cabinet makers, contractors,dump truck drivers . When they started working for themselves they got in on time and they worked harder until they could hire slaves. 

    Let us not become dumfounded when the new set of caymanians get their status and they lose their jobs like the rest. You all will be treated the same cause you have crossed the line. When you do you will need more money because you need to pay the rent in your new 2 bed 2 bath house or apt. You will want to take the spouse to rest. buy a better car go on vacation send the kids to private school. So you will need what the rest of us need. More money!!!!!

    Whats the point of having a job if you are not going to be able to pay your bills.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why are you all fighting to be here? Just go home!! I am tired of fighting, so I am leaving and might return in 5 years time.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I've seen 10 years experience required a cashier job.  This policy is a joke and everyone knows it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the true test is knowing that a person can have 10 years experience as a cashier without sticky fingers.

    • SSM345 says:

      13:37, maybe because there is a trust issue?

    • Anonymous says:

      I've never seen a Caymanian do a cashiers job, were they unwell?

      • Anonymous says:

        No, they wanted pension and health insurance and overtime pay as required by Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Take a look at all the cashiers at the supermarkets.  I doubt there are that many Caymanians.  Take a look at the fast food restaurants, not many caymanians taking your order…explain that one?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Given the high level of theft by people in cash handling positions reported on CNS, I would like cashiers to have 10 year experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      And for persons employed to wash dishes! Anyone charged with fraud? No! Anyone lose their permit? No! Anyone lose their business licence? No!

      You are about to see your own people take it into their own hands. They plainly cannot trust any politician to uphold the laws. Dat wha you get!

    • Anonymous says:

      Premier states at Ritz "Hire Caymanians", yet in the same breath some of the positions are Gardners, Domestic, Caregivers but caymanians generally expressed little interest in these positions.  Double edge sword wouldn't you think??? Listen to what you are saying Mr. Premier..your people really don't want to work, for if they did there are jobs there they can do.  If I was employed I would do anything to be able to put food on the table and pay my bills, I wouldn't look down on any job!!!

  5. Knot S Smart says:

    I really dont understand why there is all of this commotion…

    Two years ago the decision was made to extend the term limit by two years with the understanding by both the work permit holders, and the employers, that there would be no further extensions.

    Employers therefore had two years to find replacement employees, and work permit holders knew that their term here would end after their two year extension ended this October.

    Both parties certainly had an opportunity to prepare – so whose fault is it if they have not prepared?

    The immigration law certainly needs amending, but there is no urgency to do so.

    We have more urgent matters, so next year would be ample time to amend the immigration law…




    • Anonymous says:

      "Both parties certainly had an opportunity to prepare – so whose fault is it if they have not prepared?"


      Yes who's fault is it if my fellow Caymanians are not prepared for the job market?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually the CIAA HR manager situation indicates that someone is actually paying attention now. There is a lot of scams going on with the position advertising. Requiring peoplewith a Bachelors for a secretary position making under 2,000 per month, requiring bachelors for entry level positiins is a con where they have an expat picked for the position. If the Caymanian had gone in for that position they would have said overqualified.

    • Anonymous says:

      You misunderstand the real problem. TLEPs granted during the past 2 years were not all for 2 years duration. ALL TLEPs expire on October 28 and therein lies the problem. By designating Oct 28, the past Govt assured a mass exodus on the same day; something that would not be good for anyone in an already suffering economy.  My Company has 8 TLEP permits and we have been trying to replace these permits with Caymanians every year. We do recruit several Caymanians into these jobs every year but because Caymanians can be moved around, they are moved to better paying jobs once they have proven themselves. These are entry level jobs that even with 7 yrs experience pay no more than $8.00/hr due to the economics of the business. The average time on island for our 8 TLEP holders  is 7 yrs, 8 months and I can assure you that none of them will qualify for PR. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 0726 I understand your problem as you have been looking.

        At $8 per hour you make $320 per week and around $1280 per month.

        If that is what your finances allow thats what it allows.

        But surely you cannot expect someone with a bachelors degree to work in Caymanfor that level salary. Entry level even inro Government or the banks usually start near $1800.


      • Anonymous says:

        You dumb a–. Why dont you add the cost of those 8 work permits to that neasley $8.00 per hpur and offer it to Caymanians. I am sure you will find enough dedicated hardworking Caymanians willing to work for $12.00 per hour to fill all 8 of those positions. It is obvious that it does not take a rocket scientist to work in your business by the mere fact that you are paying them $1,300.00 per month. Yhe 7 year rollover should stay in place.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a joke, apply for the job to only be told oh you don't meet the requriements. etc blah blah Hon Premier get real we the ppl are not fool

    • Anonymous says:

      You probably didn't meet the requirement going by the grammar of your post.

  7. Anonymous says:

    All this means is we might have to be more careful when making sure we hire the people we want.  If it gets to the stage permits are being refused then jobs will just need to shift off island.

    • SSM345 says:

      11:35, and that is exactly what is going to happen. People think businesses are closing down now………….wait till the expats and their business leaves.

    • Anonymous says:

      That will never happen, government needs the money from the work permits fees..Do you really believe all this crap?.It is just window dressing to get the Caymanians to shut up so they can get their Immigration policy through and get those high paying permanent residency fees

  8. Anonymous says:

    This place needs new jobs. New industry. New ideas. Here's one. Eliminate the 60% Caymanian ownership of on some specific industry's that will not compete with current finance, hospitality, tourism, retail business. Make the incentives real for new companies that manufacture for export. Call it clothing as an example. All raw products imported for processing for export arrive duty free. For each three Caymanians employed the company can have one work permit at no charge. Reduce or eliminate business licence fees.  Clothing, furniture, electronics, Plastic cups, AUTOMOBILES???? I don't know, why should this not  be the place that Chinese auto parts arrive in containers then assembled cars are shipped  to the region? Ok… Let's start with clothing, uniforms, windows and doors… Paul 




    • Anonymously says:

      Get real factories to make clothes and others goods? Noble idea but not practical where would we possible get the staff to make these profitable enough to compete with China and Mexico even with out tax free status and tax exemptions.  Just not possible when looking at the cost of living and doing business here.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am all for immigration reform but this is really not looking any better then what we have right now.

    One major issue that concerns me is that the bill does not address people who have not been regularized and have been residing in Cayman for 10, 15 years. People came here pre-Ivan, some people who are currently here came here in late 90’s. These people include children who arrived here as dependants on their parents permits and who’s parents currently have PR, naturalized, or soon to be status holders. Is it the government’s policy to break up families? These are people who went to school here and the ones you thought had status because you have known them forever. You are surprised when they tell you they don’t have status or PR. The PPM did not create this problem but they can fix it. From what I have read of this purposed law these people will have 90 days to apply for PR with all 1,500 TELP folks who came in 2005, 2006. (Section 30).

    The 1,500 TELP people cannot be blamed for staying; many are in low paying tourism jobs and have poor prospects if they leave Cayman. If not why stay? It says in the article above the TELP was created for them. I think these roles can be replaced by new permit holders and Caymanians. It is local business fault for not preparing themselves and their employees for rollover. I was listening to Rooster this week and a local business man said he thought TELP would be extended. When you have easily changeable laws and pushover governments this is the situation you get.

    I am also concerned immigration officials who’s threshold for employment is 4 -5 CXC’s are making my HR decisions. I am sure my MBA HR team with 10 yrs+ in my industry can do better. According to government they can’t. So what am I to do? Do I sell all my Cayman based business and move into the Enterprise City where I am free of government interference? Just a thought. But dare I say a pretty good one.

    Also in regards to permit refusals, will this apply to people already on appeal? Or when their GOL expires with the next 6 months do they leave the island with the appeal in. Or do they not just come to work and stay home until the appeal is heard? If an employer appeals a permit trust me it is for a good reason. Appeals have been taking months if not years to be resolved. In truth why even have an appeal system if your employee on work permit appeal cannot work for you?

    Also it would be good to get some clarity for the new PR threshold. All we hear is itwill be more difficult to get PR.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Where is the list of positions that are held by these and the companies, so that people know where to apply?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do your homework – read the paper and apply for jobs when they are advertised. Don't expect someone to bring the job to you. This is part of the problem, if you want a job you have to go look for it. Don't sit at home moaning you can't get one, start applying for jobs, hand in your CV to employers and agencies. It is well known that The Ritz is among the businesses with TELP permits – dress respectably and drop your CV in there. Ask to see the HR manager while you do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Applying for jobs when theyy are advertised does not work because by then it is too late, or under a Business Staffing Plan, many months in the future before any vacancy actually exists.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most positions unfortunatly are the round holes. There are a few too many square pegs on the unemployment list. 

      • Anonymous says:

        How come majority housekeepers, nannies are work permit holders…gonna find a caymanian to do that type of work….lol lol don't think so

    • Anonymous says:

      95 percent of those unemployed do not want to work full time, they just want the pay. Just look and see how many suitably qualified get out of bed to fill toes positions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Explain to me why the RCIPS holds majority work permit holders?  Are they gonna fill the positions with Caymanians?  why DOE have work permit holders, garbage collectors?????? Caymanian again?  NOPE CAUSE THEY DONT WANNA WORK!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        If that's true then why do we have unemployed Caymanians with law degrees?

        • Anonymous says:

          Perhaps chips on shoulders exceed cells in the cranium

        • Anon says:

          Hmm, I know one of them.  Turned up for his first day on the job half an hour late.  Took two hours for his dinner hour.  Invariably left 20 mins early every day to ävoid traffic"(he lives in South Sound 10 mins walk from the office and most of the rest of us live in WB).  He openly made derogatory and sexistremarks to the female staff each day, and he acted like he owned the firm – even when speaking to the owners of the firm (the Partners).  He used sick leave like it was vacation entitlement, and barely did anty work at all, leaving everyone else having to do more work to make up for his shortfall.  Wonder why he is now out of work?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am glad Caymanians will have an opportunity to apply for the jobs, but since many employers just move the goal posts and do not disclose applicants to the authorities, the result will be the same as when Caymanians applied for the jobs last year, and the years before that.

    When are you going to arrest the people you know did it last time to discourage anyone from doing it again?


    • Please read says:

      Please read the bill!!!! There is now a $20,000 fine for anyone who applies for a work permit and who does not disclose that a Caymanian applied. Any Caymanian who applies for a job should now begin cc'ing the Immigration board and Chief Immigration Officer on their applications. 

      • Anonymous says:

        They can go ahead and CC who ever they want. I will not accpet it. My company only accepts hand delivered and posted resumes. It is a good way to filter out the unmotivated and lazy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its already the Law. It really does not matter what the Bill says. There has been no enforcement of the existing law and widespread abuse, which is exactly why we are in this position.

    • SSM345 says:

      08:27, did you even read the article?

      If they were to arrest those who have done this before, you would be arresting every single business owner on this island. Fat chance of that happening.

      Going forward though should be a different cup of tea in theory as per paragraph 2 of this article.

      However in my opinion this will  cause / force business to relocate when you have an Immigration Board telling those who own / run companies who to hire, that is plainly obvious. Consequently because of that, the problem will still exist, will be of greater magnitude and everyone involved will be scratching their heads wondering where it all went wrong.

      This move is not going to solve the problem, it is going to make it worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      08.27..as with many, you miss the entire point. Very few governments anywhere tell any company who they can employ and who they cannot. You cannot compare here to UK or USA because the dynamics are completely different. If this starts to happen here, it is not going to solve the unemployment problem, it is going to make it worse. The offshore sector will move jobs elsewhere (specific where they are not allowed to employ their preferred choice) to other jurisdicitons where they can employ the person they want to. End result, reduction in job numbers. Same in onshore business, if they cannot employ who they want, they will shut up shop and go eslewhere, because this will be seen as a "tax". I stress most of these business would prefer to employ Caymanians if they could really find what they need, and many now have good jobs. The saving in fees would be enormous and make for larger profits. But no-one, my company included, can actually find what we need locally now, and we do not need to make artificial job criteria, we just cannot find the qualified people who WANT to do it properly.

  12. Anonymous says:

    For those qualified caymanians applying for the TELP jobs, ensure you copy in DER in your application for jobs..  I am not sure if there is already a board or dedicated email address for this, but I suppose it would help to notify them of any application you make.  Good Luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please also make sure you spell check your CV. You will not get to the interview stage if your spelling is wrong. Check your application or have someone check it for you if you are unsure.

      • Anon says:

        Please tell immigration and the work permit board this too.  They are dictating my staffing decisions based on who can type, rather than who has experience in working as an investment funds secretary with onshore and offshore experience.  They want me to employ applicants who cannot spell or type with any speed or accuracy, to type up offering documents for multi-million investors.  So one mistake, one comma or period in the wrong place  has the potential to open my firm up to a multi-million dollar law suit for negligence, and bankruptcy.  Yet the expat I sent home can do all this without supervision.  Where is the business sense in this?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Praise the Lord our true Caymanians (born and bred) yah will be given I hope a fair chance to work in their own country and not be labelled as "lazy"  I also pray that those relevant application papers are placed in the hands of good and honest people ti deal wih this matter. And no, we don't hate foreigners, we only want a to be allowed to work and ennjoy our country. Thanks!

  14. Anonymous says:

    whats new…caymanian have always had an opportunity to apply for these jobs…..

    the caymanian unemployment myth continues

    • Anonymous says:

      Some expat employers treat the whole ad requirement as a 'tick the box' rather than a sincere attempt to recruit local talent, e.g. having seen the CVs of qualified Caymanians who responded to an ad, re-advertising a job with additional qualification requirements that the qualified Caymanians who responded to the original ad don't possess, or just putting their application inthe shredder. That is no myth, but the plain hard truth that Caymanians face in the labour market.   

  15. Anonymous says:

    To lose a long term employee is a misfortune, to be forced to replace them with someone you don't want is a tragedy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most situations will be that the position will not be filled. In one instance i personally know of, when the employee left, the job left. And instead of living here in Cayman and cotributing to the community and the tax coffers, he now does the same job, for the same company… OFFSHORE!


    • Buford T. Justice says:

      So, you’re saying everybody that may apply for a job opening with TLEP is unwanted? If this is the mentality and the norm, it’s no wonder Caymanians are resentful towards how the hiring of them is handled and abused. A sad state of affairs and I’m more and more convinced that the comments from years and years past and up until right now are true…the hiring of Caymanians is diluted in one way or the other over expats getting the positions instead. This is not good for the country and will come back to bite the asses that do these injustices. It always does…and that’s the real tragedy.

    • Anonymous says:

      And failure to plan within the context of the law and train a local replacement is (or should be) a crime!

      • Anonymous says:

        In a civilised country, discrimination is a crime.

        • Anonymous says:

          No. In fact, every civilised country mandates preferences for its people over outsiders.

      • Anonymous says:

        And everyone gets a puppy at Christmas.

      • Anon says:

        I am an employer not a teacher.  I can only train them to do so much.  The rest I got from a college education, and unfortunately your government does not provide you with that, and instead seems to expect me to.  However, that makes me the bad one in your eyes does it?  Can you not see that your governments are failing their own people yet you choose to blame the employers for the inveitable situation that we're in today?

  16. Anonymous says:

    This whole thing is insanity. There are positions held by TLEP holders where Caymanians applied for the jobs and the employers did not disclose the local applicants. Today the Government is granting status to those same employers (who hate the Cayman Islands) and giving PR to the persons who have been depriving Caymanians of positions for 2 years.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Provided they don't have to go through NWDA this might work! That unit is truly a waste of government resources.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If Government really wanted Caymanians to be employed they would be requiring employers to advertise TLEP positions from long ago.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The last paragraph is very interesting.  When are we going to read about revoking/rescinding Càymanian Status?  There should be an amendment to the law to include criminal offenses, which would cause the statusholder to loose status if found guilt.  Their are a number of individuals, who will hold status but will never be Caymanians, to their convenience.  They live among us but never contribute nor play an active part in the communities in which they live.

    • Anonymous says:

      It already is the Law. It is just not followed by the authorities or the Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      But there are many more Caymanians that live among us but never contribute nor play an active part in the communities in which they live and are payed out of the public purse to do so.  What do you think about them? How about Caymanian Criminals?  You know the ones who are causing all the gun crimes and burgleries?

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am a Caymanian with  a Bachelors and Masters degree from Bob Jones University in public policy from a faith based perspective, Why is no one hiring me? I am going to get Ezzard to sort this out for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn't know Ezzard had a church.  Shouldn't you consult with McKeever instead?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hummmm, let me think about that one.

      Perhaps there is no place for a 'Bachelors and Masters degree from Bob Jones University in public policy from a faith based perspective'.

      Should have got a degree that was useful, instead of one that was easy.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So stil they are kept in limbo

    • Anonymous says:

      Uh, limbo does not exist.


      The catholic church, after many years of learned study, deemed that the theology of limbo was wrong.


      Folks, this is very important stuff.

  22. Anonymous says:

    First let me start by saying I am a caymanian. I know people are hurting and unemployed caymanians want to go back to work, but this 'fine' on companies of $20k is not business-friendly.


    It should be that the best person gets the spot for the job, irrespective of nationality, gender, religion etc. Without a basic understanding of business, the govt. is going to make all these new regulations and it is going to make businesses start thinking twice about operating here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless you are the best on earth at what you do, you just committed yourself to a lifetime of unemployment in your own land.

    • Anonymous says:

      Firms following the law will not be fined.  Those that do not follow the law are subject to getting fined.   Is it "not business-friendly" to ask our businesses to follow the law?

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is ridiculous.  Now Caymanians are being invited to apply DIRECTLY TO IMMIGRATION for jobs????  (Even though the job will already have been advertised by the employer!)  What then?  Immigration declines the work permit without giving the employer the chance to so much as interview the Caymanian applicant?

    Whatever next.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The Premier's office seems to be pretending that it has not previously been an offence to fail to disclose Caymanian applicants. It always has been. Now, would the Premier's office please confirm what it will do in relation to the numerous persons who have failed to disclose Caymanian applicants in the past? All I see is such unscrupulous people getting granted residence and status, and the Caymanians whoi were lied about quite undersytandably getting hungrier and angrier.

    The only reason the law has not been robust is because you have never enforced it, throwing your own people under the bus for convenience instead of protecting them. Ezzard, please set these people straight!

  25. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    Will there ever be official recognition of the fact that some 60% of these jobs are work categories that Caymanians have not done since the mid 70s (table servers, domestics etc)?


  26. Disgusted! says:

    This is a train wreck, I cannot fathom what Alden and the others who agree with him are thinking?  I see law suits coming in bulk, and the reality is Caymanians and existing residents are gaining absolutely zero from this.  We will beat our chests with the threats of fines but are really telling business that we will bow to your mismanagement, and disregard the plight of those who call Cayman home already.  If your people don't want it, don't do it.  We are the ones that are paying the price if we are wrong.  Put your ego away Alden, listed to the wise men from the West, Mervyn and Paul are spot on here!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I hope they do more background checks on those who are applying to make sure they’re dependants & applicants don’t become a burden on our govt etc! Caymaian

    • Anonymous says:

      correct 17.15 and I also hope they run checks on those Caymanians abusing the subsidies they get to protect what little revenue is going to be left in CIG coffers very shortly from all the expats leaving…oh, did you not think of that? Someone is going to have to pay for it. Tourism, not enough to pay for all by far..ex-pats..ah, well yes, umm, that seem to be a good idea. Throw them all out and lets go bankrupt!! Champagne and Cigars all round!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone given any thought to what will happen when an employer decides that they will not have anyone dictating whothey must employ and moves the job overseas.

    What is so unfair about the current hysteria is that many employers will release reliable hard working foreign workers and replace them with unmotivated caymanian workers who will leave the job after a few weeks and the employer is left short staffed so service suffers and customers go elsewhere.

    Stand by for more OUTSOURCING of jobs of consequence which will leave the dead end jobs for the locals.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right now, nothing really.  Money leaves the island just as quickly as it comes in.  It doesnt exactly circulate here…

    • Anonymous says:

      So take your businesses elsewhere if you don't want to hire Caymanians. I'm sure wherever you go you will be told to hire qualified local people in your new home.