Rivers claims a productive year at ministry

| 20/05/2014

(CNS): The education and employment minister claimed a successful and productive year when she held a meeting last week in her West Bay constituency. Despite continuing problems in the schools and unemployment levels among Caymanians, in particular the under 25's, Tara Rivers was patting herself on the back for a job well-done. The minister stated that she and her councillor, Winston Connolly, both of whom joined the Progressives' government after winning their seats on the Coalition for Cayman ticket in the general election, “have been extremely busy driving a policy agenda” to accomplish key objectives in the ministry. Rivers has released her own progress report, outlining what she said were those key accomplishments.

“This year has been a very productive one. We have made great strides in many key areas in a relatively short period of time. We still have a long way to go, but we have made tremendous progress already in this first year since taking office, and it is important for us to share this progress and the accomplishments with the country, so that the public knows exactly what we have been doing,” Rivers said as she thanked staff in the ministry, the various departments and the schools.

“I look forward to continuing to drive the policy agenda to improve our education system, to improve our labour and employment mechanisms and to promote gender equality in all aspects of life in our country,” she said.

According to the latest figures from the Economics and Statistics Office, the unemployment rate among locals fell marginally during 2013 from the high of 10.5 percent in 2012 to 9.4 percent. However, there are still major concerns about the levels of unemployment among local people and the barriers that many say they are facing.

With a reduction in the size of the civil service, a major policy objective of the government over the next financial year, Rivers may find herself dealing with another increase in local jobless numbers in her second year in office.

See progress report below.

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  1. I am so smrt says:

    I asked myself if I had done a good job. And I said ….Yes!!  Now.. I'm telling you. In case you didn't know.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Productive year? On what planet? In which universe? In what stratosphere? This 1st year has been nothing but a miserable failure for Tara and the entire elected Government. Looking at her report card, itis a good thing she sint using it to garner points cause if she was it would be an ugly report she get. Just take the Labour Department, with over 4-5,000 companies on the island (give or take a few) all they could manage to inspect for 8 months was 45??? I apprectae that not all can or will be inspected but come on now- just 45?  Had I been the Minister this statistic was NOT going on any report I presented to the public. This is an embarassment and should be to all concerned. So in essence what the report is saying is that the Labour Office and the inspection department can be considered a failure cause it certainly isnt progress. Where is Wally when he is needed? When he was there, he had officers on the road beating the pavement daily.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Blah, blah blah

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cabinet re-shuffle please…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tara, Winston and PPM are delusional. One term government

  6. Anonymous says:

    She's clueless and out of touch.

    • Anonymous says:

          18:21  Just because you do not see or understand what she is trying to do,does not mean that she is the one who is clueless.

      • Anonymous says:

        Since you are in the know how.. Please explain to us less understanding people Mr/s Speaker

  7. Dubya says:

    "Mission Accomplished."

    "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tara – self praise is no recommendation! Now get back to work as you will be a one term minister!

  9. Anonymous says:

                  I never realized that so many people still believed in fairy tales until I started reading the comments on CNS. It seems as if at least 99%OF THE COMMENTERS ON THIS ARTICLE FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY. They all expect someone to come along ,wave a magic wand and make all problems disappear. (Even CNS appears to be caught up in this rush to judgement mentality) .Sorry folks ,this is the real world and it takes a bit more effort than  that.  Tara has been on the job for less than one year ( if we factor in the time needed to get acquainted with the various departments in her ministry,it is probably more like nine months).Yet most of you expect her to have solved all problems in her ministry. I know that we have become accustomed to instant news on  cell phones such as leaked videos of accident scenes and at least one murder scene, or twitter and facebook messages spreading the latest marl road news as fact,but folks we have to be a little more patient.Let us wait and see if her policies take root and actually bring about changes for the better,before we write her off.

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm sorry but the comments reflect the fact there is no change in results and no coherent/viable plan or even objectives for either education or employment.  A list of random activities is not a list of "accomplishments".  It is a list of random activities, and it is exactly what someone would provide when they have no accomplishments to point to.


  10. Henry 111 says:

    By who's standards? 12.17 if government and the recruitment companies don't import people how would we (the government) make money? Tourism? Dr. Shetty? The financial industry (which is almost dead thanks to Obama)?

    we have taxed this country to the point whereby other jurisdictions makes sense to do business i.e. Cuba – tourism, Bahamas – banking, USA – shopping, etc….

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is nothing new. The ministry staff have to look good, you see.So despite loads of Caymanians routinely being denied decent job positions and dreadful behaviour in our schools with teachers beingthreatened and/or physically assaulted, everyone in the ministry is doing an incredible job. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it. Can we please just sort out the employment mess and sort out the school's mess and forget about this self-serving congratulation until this has been accomplished? Thank you.

  12. Sucka Punch says:

    This poor lady must be living on a different island from us. She Lost!!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    You got your feet wet, well done. Now solve the civil service staffing problem and Immigration at the same time by enforcing our LAWS.

    If a degreed, qualified Caymanian (with excellent work references) applies, why are we still allowing the $$ recruitment firms to bring in and approve WP expats without question!?  The biggest offenders are our biggest financial and law firms so I can only suspect the back room phone calls to their MLAs or immigration Board Member buddies.

    You REALLY want change? Easy: Enforce the laws for the next 24 months and any local hired not worth their weight will get fired (without that good reference) so hiring problem solved, but until the NWDA gets some teeth with white collar middle management job placements we are only being placed in blue collar work.  University degreed locals deserve a chance!!! (Can we deny the recruiters "renewals" and finally make the HR cartel accountable?). What ever happened to the new 2013 law about $20,000 fine for hiding a local application from the Immigration Board? That was never enforced and I can assure you the Immigration Boards & Business Staffing Boards never see the qualified local applications.

    Well done, now make it stick and move onto phase 2 of implementation.  No time for self congratulations or ego, this is YOUR job and too many qualified locals still don't have one.

    • Anonymous says:

      What planet are you living on?  The HR Cartels?  Really?  

      You really think that companies are deliberately seeking people that will cost them tens of thousands more in permit fees (not to mention recruitment fees) and avoiding hiring perfectly able locals?  Why would they do that?  

      You really think immigration is approving work permits for jobs when able locals have applied?  Why would they do that?

      While this conspiracy theory may explain the 1,800 unemployed, how does it explain the 17,500 hard-working Caymanians that are able to find and hold down jobs?  (The alternative explanation being that those 1,800 are lacking the proper qualifications and/or motivation to find and keep a job).

      Employers just want someone who can do the job.  The government can only interfere so much in the job market before companies say "f*** this" and go out of business or move away.  Not only does this destroy Caymanian jobs in the company but also in the suppliers of the company and in the businesses frequented by the owners and staff of the company.  Thus the harder the government pushes companies to employ Caymanians, the more destruction it wreaks.

      The way to resolve unemployment is to provide education and training so that Caymanians have skills in demand, not to force companies to hire this person or that.

      If you love the idea of government deciding who companies can hire and not fire, I have great news for you!  There is a country where that is the reality just a half hour flight away!  It's called Cuba and the people their system is set up to "protect" are so desperate to leave they will set sail on the open ocean on a boat made from an old truck.

      Be careful what you wish for.

      • Anonymous says:

        I live on a planet where I have watched applications from qualified Caymanians hidden from the immigration authorities. I live on a planet where every successful applicant for a position on one team happens to be from Southern Africa, and every successful applicant on another from Canada. I live on a planet where the number of Caymanians losing their jobs equals the number of expatriates being granted status. I however also live on a planet where there is no enforcement of any lawand widespread corruption.

        • better idea says:

          Amen.  I live on aplanet where I saw qualified locals pay out of their own pocket to go through the PMP courses at the Chamber of Commerce, fly to Miami to sit the 5 hour exam, get their 5,000 hours of relevant project experience, have awesome references, active in the community and still passed over local Banks for ENTRY level PMP jobs

          (One recent job that boils my blood is):  Associate Degree only required for CI$92,000 PMP position – no certitication required April 2014 Cayman Compass advertisement of a prominent Bermuda and Cayman bank.

          For all of you who really think the Law firms and Banks are recruiting good locals, you make me laugh.  Just ask any white collar Caymanian at these fimrs who made it through and they will tell you at least two stories each where they have seen a really good qualified local passed over for an expat hire.

          I can also tell you of people married to locals who lost their jobs trying to hire local instead of expat and they were at Senior Exec level.  Do not swallow the kool-aid. The shredding of local applications when an expat applies or recruiter is involved is simply common practice.

          This is the planet called Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:


      No where in the world does having a degree make you qualified to hold a certain position.

      You and others need to get your head around that.



      • better idea says:

        9:53 you need t get your head around what the original post said:  Qualified, degreed, experienced, with exellent work references = a perfect candidate! 

        Sorry 9:53…in just the past month I have met (3) locals "with status" or "born Caymanian" who ALL have overseas degrees from top USA, UK, and Canada Universities, have recent and relevant industry certificiations (beyond degree levels) execellent references and all three have applied for private sector jobs that that are "perfectly" suited for in the IT management field and all three were only interviewed as a courtesy and the positions were given to expats. 

        Please explain this…All positions were with local well known Banks.  I guess their HR departments just shred the local qualified applications becasue I know (sarcastic) our beloved Immigration Board would never stand for this?

        Sorry 9:53, in a field like IT you cannot flub your way into an interview: You either have the difficult certifications or you don't.  You either have excellent job references or you dont.  There is no entitlement asking for a job with just a degree here…..these are well qualified locals with above degree experience (from overseas all three!!!) that were turned away due to a reruiter making a buck off of a expat placements.

        I think the recruiters need to be accountable to Immigration when locals apply, period.  The simple economic skewed fact is that if a recruiter places a management person (My firm paid $12,000 for our overseas placement! $$$) they make a LOT of money.  If they place a qualified local, they lose out on the % of work permit fees, % of moving costs, and the chance this job will come up again in a year or so if the expat gets homesick.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The classic mistaking of activity for results.