Minister to Employers: ‘Explore Local Expertise’

January 20, 2011

job form stockKim Wilson, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry today [Jan 20] launched an appeal to business owners to look for local talent before applying for work permits for non-Bermudian staff.

“It behooves you as an employer and Bermuda as a whole that you explore the local expertise available on the Island before shifting your search to beyond our shores or seeking to renew work permits,” she says. “A genuine effort is needed.”

Minister Wilson stresses her ministry’s commitment to ensure that no Bermudian is displaced by a foreign worker: “I support the necessity for a healthy mix of locals and non-Bermudians in the workplace. However there is no way to justify Bermudians, who want to work and whose skill sets are equivalent to those being considered for work permits, remaining without jobs.

“Consistent with my directive, The Department of Immigration has assured me that the work permit process is now more rigorous. Work permits will only be granted if it is demonstrated that no Bermudian exists with the skill set and experience which is required for the job.”

She encourages employers, particularly those in the hospitality, construction, and horticultural fields, to go to the Department of Labour and Training before heading to the Department of Immigration: “More and more residents are signing up on a daily basis looking for employment. While one criticism of Labour and Training has been a slow response time, Employment Officers are now redirecting their efforts and working harder than ever to assist both job seekers and employers with finding the right fit.”

Minister Wilson continues: “In cases where employers are not happy with someone who was sent to them through the Department of Labour and Training, report back where you feel he or she fell short so that we can work with them to train and develop them in the areas where they are weak. We all must work together to achieve a win/win for Bermuda.”

She encourages Bermudians to continue applying for jobs which they believe they are qualified to do.

“It is imperative that unemployed Bermudians remain optimistic that they will be successful in their job hunt. During these tough economic times, I am fully aware that no one can afford to be unemployed, but successful outcomes will not be garnered unless there is an effort to ensure success.”

Minister Wilson continues: “The Ministry cannot fairly assess work permit applications or encourage employers to consider Bermudians wherein Bermudians have not applied for jobs. All jobs must be advertised prior to work permit renewals or initial work permit application. I have looked at the files and in case after case there have been no Bermudian applications. Bermudians must apply for jobs that they are qualified to do.”

She also stresses that Bermudians needed to stop thinking that certain jobs in the workplace are beneath them. Last month, Minister Wilson revealed that only three locals applied for 13 kitchen porter positions. More recently, the Minister said at least one hotel reported that there were zero applicants for waiters.

“Although there are some jobs which you may not want to do, now is not the time to bypass employment opportunities. Now is not the time to reject an employment opportunity just because you are not fully pleased with the salary being offered. You must be willing to be flexible and open to negotiation where there is an opportunity to negotiate.”

“Bermudians must apply for positions for which they are qualified and where they think they can perform well irrespective of how many times they have done so in the past. If you fail to do so than the opportunity is lost and your right to complain is greatly diminished.”

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Comments (18)

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  1. Terry says:

    Another nail in the coffin.

    Whats that song they sing when the Bermtitanic is sinking, bow down………

  2. always happens says:

    How can you disagree with the minister? Unless you want anarchy, bermudians have to be given the first opportunity.

  3. Robert Bryce says:

    Well intentioned as usual but out of touch with reality. Local talent? Has the Senator read what the heads of the Fire Service, Police, Customs, Buses and so one have found out? Today was the Fire Service – 13 out of more than 250 applicants passed the tests and accepted a position. Maybe this is an indication of the problem and reason for looking for employees from off the island.

  4. Triangle Drifter says:

    The Minister is still tiptoeing through the tulips. Not one mention about Bermudian attitude towards work.

    Employers constantly complain about Bermudians who don’t make time, always have personal ‘issues’, make sure that they take all possible ‘sick’ days & then some, poor productivity, always on the phone, drugs etc. etc. Too often they feel like they are running some sort of day care service than a business.

    Like it or not, from the bottom to the top all employees are parts of a machine. All of those parts, cogs if you will, are needed to make that business machine work. If it does not work, it ceases to exist.

    Nobody risks money in a business unless they think there is a very good chance of it being profitable.

    Good jobs are available. Look at the problems the BPS, BFS, & Customs finding people who can pass basic qualifications.

  5. just joking says:

    is this the same government which just hired a foreign sculptor??????

  6. Sam says:

    “Consistent with my directive, The Department of Immigration has assured me that the work permit process is now more rigorous. Work permits will only be granted if it is demonstrated that no Bermudian exists with the skill set and experience which is required for the job.”

    Which is why the Uighurs are working construction jobs?

  7. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    The low level of pay for some of these entry level jobs would not fill your car up with gas……so drug dealing is the best alternative without the pain of government taxes^^

  8. Question says:

    Isn’t this the same govt which gives foreigners contracts without putting it out for tender in Bermuda? If I didn’t know any better, I would guess that the PLP govt is under the spell of foreigners. Didn’t the PLP govt just pay some foreigner $250,000 to produce a sculpture of Dame Evans?…and that work was never offered to any Bermudian………and the list goes on. But alas the PLP don’t care cause they know the masses will just vote PLP no matter what…even if they loose their job….even if the PLP sell Bermuda’s birthright out to foreigners.

  9. Wild and Out says:

    Well it behooves me too, especially when we constantly try and would rather employ our fellow Bermudians and once hired they don’t want to work. They want to get paid but just don’t want to work and don’t ask them anything, you have to be kidding me, make sure you have protective gear on! This might bother many but it is the truth. There are many Bermudians out there that are employable such as myself that deserve to be hired, that work hard and go the extra mile. BUT, there are many and I mean many that don’t, so as a Bermudian, we must raise our standards and become employable and show the Companies that we are a viable choice and present ourselves that way. Think about it, they would not have to pay housing and costs associated with relocation so it is in their benefit. So, be real, no denial and make change and get those jobs.

    • Here’s the truth if you are Bermudian Black,white of whatever hard working
      or not you will not be hired as long as these companies can hirer ex-pat’s
      the companies are all run by ex-pat’s and they want there own kind! the Immigration Dept is supporting them with work permit’s, I have applyed
      for over 90 job add’s in the paper and met with Immigration dept, gov,
      Labor Dept, I am a Qualified Bermudian who has giving Immigration dept
      all my Diploma’s, Certificate’s, Letter of Ref,I have worked all over the world
      but I can’t work in Bermuda, One more thing if you complain about what these
      you will be BLACK LISTED!!! it is very sad but truth.

      Good luck

  10. Truth says:

    In principal, I agree. Employers should be looking for suitable Bermudian replacements where possible. My issue is that the Government doesn’t lead by example in this area with respect to the consultants that they employ. There are numerous Bermudian firms that could have benefited from the contracts that were given to firms that do not economically benefit Bermuda or employ Bermudians. with 100M (I believe) in consulting contracts dished out, how much of that was placed locally? Surely there is expertise here that the Government could benefit from.

    Lead By Example.

  11. crazytalk says:

    I think it might behoove the minister to read the recent stories about the Bermuda Fire Service and Bermuda Customs, both of whom were unable to fill their vacant positions despite going through hundreds of Bermudian applicants.

    When she says the work permit process is going to be ‘more rigorous’, I guess that can be translated to mean ‘slower, more difficult, and less user-friendly’. Another nail in the IB coffin.

  12. Watchful EYE says:

    It FRIGHTENS me to listen to this as here it is that not even the BPS,BFS,Customs, nor Immigration can get applicants for entry level jobs. It hurts even more that we have to get overseas labor and it is at the fore front now that we are trying to cut back and save a dollar of OUR TAX PAYING dollars. What happened to all the consultants and so call experts that they had here to give such wonderful recommendations that are failing every Bermudian today and making our island a “dog eat dog” society.

    Here is my two sense on this matter fix the education system and raise the bar of excellence and start teaching as the old adage says “knowledge is power”. Also those that are in postion to make a difference to impart valuable knowledge to the younger people coming through ……do so and do it well.

    Finally those that are out there in the work force just be more vigilant in what you do and shut up all those employers that make noise about Locals abusing sick leave, having personal issues and whatever else they complain about.

    • Uncle Ruckus says:

      You can’t believe all these lies they put out. These so called statistics. I know plenty of people who are hard-workers, don’t smoke, are physically fit, high school diplomas, passed tests etc who aren’t offered a job at BPS, BFS or customs. I was also let go at a job for no reason whatsoever. They didn’t even tell me why, came early, stayed late, did my work. Yet the two foreigners stayed.

      • Watchful EYE says:

        Well I am truly sorry Uncle Ruckus for you being let go from your job for no reason. However you are in the minority of locals that come early stay late and do what they are supposed to do in the job they are being paid to do.
        The point iwas trying to get across was that we need to educate the younger generation to fend for themselves instead of them waiting for it to fall into there lap.