Premier optimistic for 2015

| 31/12/2014

(CNS): The country’s leader spoke about “amazing” opportunities for Cayman in his New Year’s message Tuesday. Premier Alden McLaughlin said his government would continue to build on what he described as it accomplishments over the past year. He said that during 2014 the economy had improved and there was a return of public and investor confidence. Admitting there was lots still to be done, he urged employers to take on more local workers in 2015, even if it meant training them, to help government address the ongoing employment problem among Caymanians. He said that much of the growth in the economy and employment expected next year would depend on development projects by both government and the private sector.

McLaughlin said that the PPM government’s negotiations with Dart to amend the terms of the NRA agreement were on the right track, although after some 18 months of talks there was still no deal for the premier to announce in his New Year message.

“Our discussions continue to be meaningful and productive and I am confident that we are now near the end of this saga,” he stated.

In addition to the much anticipated construction projects which the current administration, like the last, sees as the answer to getting Caymanians back to work, the premier said government would continue to grow and support the main economic pillars of tourism and financial services.

Talking about the need to fight crime and “stamp out the scourge of armed robberies”, he pointed to the importance of creating job opportunities and helping people find work as a major goal of the administration.

“I again appeal to employers and business owners, especially as the economy continues to improve, to give more Caymanians employment opportunities, even if that means that you need to train them. Government is doing its part to create the environment that allows businesses to succeed and to provide educational and training opportunities for potential employees. But we do need greater involvement, investment and commitment to hiring Caymanians from the business community if we are to return to full employment,” McLaughlin urged.

Describing himself as an optimist, the premier said he believes the future of the Cayman Islands is bright.

“The sense of certainty and confidence we felt at the beginning of 2014 continues to gain momentum and is taking us into 2015. We are only going to get better and better,” the premier promised.

He took aim at the press, however, for what he described as the “negativity about all things Cayman and Caymanian that has unfortunately become the stock-in-trade of certain media houses” and said Cayman is still one of the best places in the world in which to live.

“There is much to celebrate about this country. My prayer is that in the New Year, the positive things about Cayman and Caymanians, the things which make us unique and attractive to the rest of the world, could be given even half the prominence in the media as is given to the bad news stories. There is much good in these Islands and its people. It would be good to see it in a news story now and again,” he lamented.

“There is much to be done,” the premier acknowledged, adding that the road ahead will not be all smooth but said he was confident government would meet the challenges head on.

See full speech below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Create a level playing field in employment by removing the artificial protections for Caymanians in jobs who do nothing much and in the short term there will be a blood bath, in the medium to long term you will create a highly competitive work force who understand that if you do not perform your duties or have 3 hour breaks a day or do all your private calls from work, then you will be fired as WP holders frequently are. Unless that happens nothing will change. It always happens in any country or place that puts up artificial barriers in employment. 

    If I look in our business and if we were truly free I would fire around 30% of our Caymanian workforce for above sins. The expats who think they can behave the same get let go and off island at once. However we can fire them without worrying about investigations, tribunals, denial of further work permits. We cannot do that with Caymanians. Cayman is its own worst enemy in the field of employment. And please note, as with all our offices worldwide, we would much prefer to employ locals, and train them, however unless we have the ability to fire non performers without consequences then we are very careful, for if we have to retain more non performers it is a tax on our business and a tax on those employees (including our high performing Caymanians) who have to carry and correct the non performers work load. 

    That is the way of the world and Mr. Premier the best legacy you could leave Cayman, albeit at a high political cost for you personally, would be to just get it done. In time you will be remembered as the man who had the balls to do the right thing, enabling Caymanians to return to near full employment. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Glad someone is optimistic..My mortgage is due and CUC is threatening to cut off my electricity…

  3. Anonymous says:

    thats why there driftwood they dont even know when the elections are!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the voters of this country were just a little bit smarter they would be embarassed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    An optimist? Since when has optimism and serial grumbling been bed-partners?!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    That would be the effect of having to take on and train the unemployed.  See he did not say that expressly, but that would be the effect.  I know it hard for stupid people like you to grasp that concept.  After all, if you cannot master the concept of a comma, what can one expect?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would like to see the laws enforced by the police in 2015.

    Yes the traffic laws including, drunk driving, cell phone useage, texting, speedng, illegal window tinting and license plate covering makingit impossibe to read the numbers.

    Of course this includes proper paperwork, tabs, insurance and a valid driver's license.

    Public intoxication also and loitering and charges for offensive weapons inlcuding knives, guns and machetes.

    People caught smggling drugs and weapons go to jail. The I didn't know defence is thrown out.  Signs stating such can be placed in pominent locations at the airport.

    Corrruption is given zero tolerance and people go to Northward when convicted regardless of family.

    The prosecutors office have a 2 strike you are out, lose 2 cases and move on. No more losing evidence, lose evidence and lose your job.

    Does this sound like frustration, yes.

  8. what a laugh says:

    As long as he continues to support bone head mmbers like Ozzy who believe that if you dont do as he says he can cuss, berate and whoop you, Alden and the PPM wont go very far!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The Premier speaks with forked tongue about unemployment and hiring Caymanians. He was the Cabinet Minister responsible for excessive spending on award-winning school buildings but yet failed to make a meaningful difference in the fundamental problems of the education system – preparing school leavers for employment, effective vocational training, etc. He is the Premier of a Government which continues the serious flaws of past administrations (including past PPM Government)  which fail to enforce legal requirements regarding training programs and most definitely continue selling work permits in all categories of employment.

    Mr. Premier, you promised to support the main pillars of our economy in 2015, with no mention of any new areas of revenue, and consider your Government progressive? Progressive would be encouraging and supporting a diversified economy in order to boost employment opportunities. Progressive is seeking new forms of revenue so that CIG does not have to depend so much on every dollar earned by selling work permits. Progressive is enforcing existing policies to ensure employer OTJ training and apprenticeship programs. Progressive is fixing the education system so as to avoid dumping 16 and 17 year olds, who cannot read and write, out of the public schools. Progressive is implementing a meaningful vocational program in the education system. Progressive is having the balls to make changes instead of protecting the status quo!  

    Perhaps your head remiains in the same sand hole where it was when your Government ignored the global economic crisis of 2008 and its effects on our own economy – thus clearly worsening our financial situation. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Driftwoods optimistc for 2015. "Ossie will let us not get re-elected by the Driftwoods at the next election. They will only vote Marco, Alva, Roy, Tony and new candidates that shows respects towards those Fu$#kng Driftwoods".

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wake up Alden McLaughin!  You are obviously sleeping.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy it Mr. Premier, cause come 2016 we will remember

  13. Anonymous says:

    Which employers is he urging to take on Caymanians.  Does he employ locals to clean his house, or tend his garden.  Does he insist on only locals working on any aspect of his house… I thought not!  Get real.   You have not got true figures for thr unemployed, their patterns of work, their status etc so how can you even begin to fix the problem.  How many locals are unemployable due to mental ealth issues, substance abuse, low educational attainment, disability etc.  Answer me that I will begin to take anything you say a little more seriously.  Same is true for the previous administration

  14. the Spin Cycle says:

    There known knowns. And there are known unknowns. In other words.. there are tings we know to be true and there are tings we don't know to be true.. and some of them are unknown. But rest assured.

    We know that. 

    Thank you.

     And have a wonderful year! 

  15. Married to a Caymanian says:

    I disagree. I'm married to an unemployed Caymanian who works in a highly skilled field and cannot get a job due to work permit renewals and no succession planning.  My spouse has a top overseas degree, overseas excellent work history and impeccable references.  We only moved back to Cayman to take care of aging parents with health issues and sadlly are struggling on one income and wish wecould go back overseas to continue our careers, but with family needing us here we have to stay.  It is infuriating to watch permits get renewed and even with recruiters (on our side?) we don't even get an interview!

    we are not alone. There ARE qualified locals who WANT to work but can't get a chance because there is no enforcement with hiring locals. 

    What do you suggest with this being between a rock and a hard place?

    • Anonymous says:

      I find you comment completely ironic.  It was ok for you and your spouse to work in another country but when it became inconvinent you returned to Cayman and now complain about those that left their birth country to work in yours.  

      Not to mention that your spouse has overseas degree doesnt always mean that it would fit in the requirements of jobs available on island.

      • Anonymous says:

        Um to be very fair- I admire a skilled worker who went overseas to secure a good career after university and if they return to a "micro – population" with an advanced skill, yes they should have a chance in Cayman (at least for that interview and if qualified skill and experienced, the job) it is a law here for a good reason and the Premier should insure qualified locals who are worth it -can work!

        No free lunch, but I side with the returning skilled Caymanaian when the population is under 70,000 people. This is not apples to oranges as we say in North America. I got my first job in New York due to "Affirmative Action" and it was hard to see both sides, but I think the policy was quite fair and gave women and minorities a chance that did not exist before. I support the LAW as I too know of some very qualified Caymanians who are out of work, looking, and the current crony system is letting them down (Accountants, IT, Law- not helpers or blue collar)

        In a global world our expats here can go back to find work in a much larger employment pool, the USA population is 320 million, UK 60 million population, Canada 35 million, Australia, 25 million, Scotland 5 million – how can a small micro population be compared in the same light? It cannot…. Add the low tax and good weather and yes there will be a fight over skilled jobs so those that have to support aging parents or local families SHOULD have the law on their side, it is their homeland, not ours. I blame the recruiters and large firms for being poor corporate citizens.

        An expat with many local friends….

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you assume you are entitled to a job.  If I went back to my own country I would not expect to get a job necessarily.  I have had over the years many friends who had to leave Cayman to look after elderly relatives in the land of their birth.  All and I mean ALL have been faced with living on one income (for some permanently) and certainly it has taken time to get back into the work place.  also if you are looking after elderly relatives I presume that, like the rest of us, one wage is the price we sometimes have to pay for the priviledge of giving back to our aging parents.

      • P&L says:

        What is missing from your comparison of the experience of your friends back home is the consideration of whether or not there is a high expat population working in that country. Hardly anywhere in the world has percentages as high as Cayman’s (which hovers near 50%) so I think not.

        CNS, PLEASE can you publish a comparison of the work visa requirements for the top 5-10 countries represented in Cayman’s expat community and let’s see if they are easy as what we have here. I bet not.

        It seems to me that it’s not only Caymanians who feel a sense of entitlement. Clearly there are many who feel entitled to be allowed to work and live here regardless of any socioeconomic issues we may need to address as a country. Seems kind of selfish.

        Despite the fact that you might not have met any qualified Caymanians or spouses of Caymanians who cannot find work does not mean they do not exist… let’s just say for argument sake that 80% of the unemployed are really unemployable (the dregs)… please indulge me the remaining 20%… this still means hundreds who are qualified and deserve a chance cannot find opportunities.

        It isn’t fair…Yes, I know life is not fair… but it’s just hard to understand (unless relying on the notion that people are just inherently greedy) how you can think this way. I honestly would not dare go to your country and expect the same privileges as you unless I had been there long enough to obtain citizenship then that is a different story as I respect that it would be a different story if you stay long enough to obtain status in Cayman.

        I’m just suggesting you be honest with yourself… If you really think about it… this (your) scale is off!

    • Anonymous says:

      There are plenty of jobs for your husband, just not ones he feels entitled to.  Should he take any of the many available jobs his chances of getting a job closer to what he expects would increase.  You are much more likely to get a job when you have a job.  If I see someone take an interim job "beneath them" it counts for a great deal in their favor.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the Hon. Premier has omitted to note that the Immigration Law of the Cayman Islands has always required all businesses to have in place adequate training to enable Caymanians to be effective in roles where practicable, as a condition of the grant and renewal of work permits? Of course, that would depend on the law being enforced, something we seem incapable of doing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      That would also require unemployed caymanians to actually show up and want to be trained.  When in training the wage cannot be above what you would pay someone who is already trained and in turn the ITS BELOW ME mentality would have to be abolished and I can not see that happening any time soon. 

      I had one junior caymanian worker go home when I asked him to clean up the warehouse since he had no other work.  I asked why he went home and he said cleaning up the warehouse was below him.  As a manager it is below no one if I asked you to do it!

    • Anonymous says:

      Like all our laws, the provisions are an irrelevance in the hands of persons who do not understand them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Poor Alden. Try as he may, he just hasn't got it. Like with the gambler, time to call it a day and hand it over to serious folks who don't feel the need to be "famous" for something or other.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So he in effect proposing a profits tax on business to fund the training of unemployed locals. 

  19. Cayman first says:

    Best one till them off the jordanian 

  20. Anonymous says:

    All thumbs up!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Very ignorant . . . . . .

    Business is not to help the people, it is to make money for the owners.


    • Anonymous says:

      Very stupid comment. Obviously investment and development benefits the economy as a whole and therefore everyone benefits. 

  22. The Parliamentarian says:

    I see in this article that the NRA agreement is on the right track.  That’s fine, but is this train moving forward, or is it still just sitting there.  And are those discussions mentioned real or imaginary.  I don’trecall hearing about progress made in these discussions.  I am inclined to think the reason i haven’t heard about any progress is that there hasn’t been any.  Talk is cheap. The same applies to crime control.  Why isn’t more done to catch and punish the criminals?  We don’t have a good record in catching criminals and we have an even worse record of meaningful punishment in our courts!

    • Anonymous says:

       16:18.You are hearing about it now,so please stop complaining.

      • Anonymous says:

        troll much? All your troll comments start with the time of the post you are trolling and have poor punctuation.

        I see you.

  23. Anonymous says:

    translation: i will continue to do nothing until the next election wherby i will claim to have brought stability to cayman….

  24. Anonymous says:

    There will nothing to celebrate unless we all get a hold on the rampant crime that has infested our Country, things will get alot worse until this is done.

    And those committing these crimes have no itention of being  gainful employment so stop blaming companies for not hirng Caymanians.

    Those who are currently unemployed are 90% unemployable or choose not to work.

    That is a FACT.

    And lastly, perhaps Government can actualy grow a pair and do something about the Dump instead of paying for reports and spouting the same shit they have been saying for the last 25yrs on the matter,

    Grow a pair of balls PPM, we all expect you to, so just do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am optomistic for 2015 cause I chilled for the holidays and Osbourne is still in office….

    • Anonymous says:

      For a fact!! How did you source this information? from the labor office? Office of statistics? Did you ask Kirky on the waterfront? Unfortunately nothing will change because we are too shortsigted and afraid to make a move.