Minors: Possible Work Permit Closures

January 13, 2012 | 79 Comments

Government will be looking at closing additional categories of work permits including masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers; and placing additional restrictions on categories including waiters, servers, secretaries and caregivers.

“The public will recall that in February 2011, the Government implemented a moratorium on certain job categories. These include cleaners, landscape gardeners, kitchen porters and skilled labourers,” Minister Patrice Minors said yesterday [Jan.12].

“During this period applications for work permits in these categories have not been considered, except for those persons who are supervisors, team leaders and trainers. In many other cases guest workers have been asked to settle their affairs and leave the Island.”

“This initiative was designed to create real job opportunities for Bermudians. I am pleased to report today that as a result, hundreds of job opportunities have been created and many Bermudians have secured jobs in these fields.

“As a result of the moratorium the Landscaping Association was formed. An organization that brings Bermuda’s landscaping companies together for the first time as one cohesive body. I am encouraged by the ongoing dialogue and their collective efforts.”

“Over the next week, I will be consulting with employer groups and the Bermuda Industrial Union to discuss further categories that will be closed to work permits. This may include non-specialist constructions jobs, including masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers,” said Minister Minors.

Last month, BIU President Chris Furbert said, “I would like before the Government issues one work permit, that – for now – all work permits should be put on hold until Bermudians are seen fit to get a fair share in the workplace.”

Minister Minors continued: “I will also be discussing categories that may also be added to the restricted list, including waiters, servers, landscapers, and possibly secretaries and caregivers where employers will have to first demonstrate that they have hired a certain percentage of Bermudians including trainees before a work permit is considered.

“Once this list has been finalised they it will be made available to the public and will also be updated regularly depending on change in the status of the numbers of Bermudians still looking for work.”

Minister Minors — who holds the Economy, Trade and Industry portfolio — went on to discuss various Government job creation initiatives including the Hospitality Job Fair, Waiter/Server Certification programme, Small Jobs Initiative, and assistance provided by the Department of Labour and Training and the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

Premier Paula Cox said, “Yesterday, I announced that I was publishing the Incentives for Job Makers. Today is the announcement of another prong of the Government’s strategy to create jobs for Bermudians.”

“All able-bodied Bermudians should be able to obtain a job before work permits are granted, particularly in the jobs that do not require specialised qualifications. While we may not able to get the jobs that we desire, we should be able to get a job to pay the bills until the jobs that we desire become available.”

Minister Minors’ full statement follows below:

Good afternoon:

I am pleased today to provide an update on our efforts to secure jobs for Bermudians.

You will be aware that in accordance with the 2010 census data, the current unemployment rate in Bermuda stands at 6% as a result, the Government has put in place a network of initiatives, which include short-term stimulus programs and medium to long-term changes in policies, programs and legislation to drive economic growth and job creation.

In the short-term, we are helping Bermudians to adjust to the changing labour market so that they can secure jobs and prepare themselves for better jobs in the future.

On October 19, 2011, it was announced that the 10-year work permits would go into effect November 1, and yesterday the Premier, the Hon. Paula A. Cox, JP, MP, as Minister of Finance shared the guidelines for the Incentives for Jobmakers Act which came into operation on 1st January, 2012.

These initiatives address unemployment from a different angle as we need to do all we can to let the international business community know that ‘Bermuda is open for business’.

When international businesses set up in Bermuda it creates a ‘multiplier effect’ in the formation of jobs – direct jobs within the companies, which in turn create jobs for people in the construction, housing, service, hospitality sectors etc.

However, International Business is but one area targeted for job creation and the public will recall that in February 2011, the Government implemented a moratorium on certain job categories. These include cleaners, landscape gardeners, kitchen porters and skilled labourers.

During this period applications for work permits in these categories have not been considered, except for those persons who are supervisors, team leaders and trainers. In many other cases guest workers have been asked to settle their affairs and leave the Island.

This initiative was designed to create real job opportunities for Bermudians.

I am pleased to report today that as a result, hundreds of job opportunities have been created and many Bermudians have secured jobs in these fields. We are encouraged by the employers’ willingness to work with us in the best interest of Bermuda. We are also encouraged by those Bermudian workers who have adapted to the changing environment and become productive employees in their new jobs.

As a result of the moratorium the Landscaping Association was formed. An organization that brings Bermuda’s landscaping companies together for the first time as one cohesive body. I am encouraged by the ongoing dialogue and their collective efforts.

Over the next week, I will be consulting with employer groups and the Bermuda Industrial Union to discuss further categories that will be closed to work permits. This may include non-specialist constructions jobs, including masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers.

I will also be discussing categories that may also be added to the restricted list, including waiters, servers, landscapers, and possibly secretaries and caregivers where employers will have to first demonstrate that they have hired a certain percentage of Bermudians including trainees before a work permit is considered.

Once this list has been finalised they it will be made available to the public and will also be updated regularly depending on change in the status of the numbers of Bermudians still looking for work.

Likewise I am encouraged by the ongoing efforts of the Bermuda Hotel Association and its members.

During the course of last year this organization partnered with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to host two significant hospitality job fairs.

The hotels are currently in the process of interviewing applicants from the 2012 Hospitality Job Fair as they prepare for the upcoming season.

While it is too early to comprehensively determine how many jobs will be secured by Bermudians, the hotels are committed to filling as many of the more than 600 positions as they can with qualified Bermudians. However here are a few employment stats from Job Fair 2011that I can offer thus far:

 Grotto Bay – 6
 Hamilton Princess – 3
 Southampton- 66 interviewed – 10 given offers
 Mid Ocean – 1
 Cambridge Beaches – 3

Meanwhile, I am pleased to announce today that the first day scheduled for ‘pre-employment’ job placement interviews for the first 14 persons that have been accepted into the Waiter/Server Certification programme is Thursday, 19th January, 2012.

The public will recall that the Government of Bermuda stated its intention to re-train displaced Bermudian workers for waiter/server positions currently held by work permit holders.

This programme launched late last year in conjunction with the BHA and the Restaurant Division of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce (BCC). The first group training commenced in December 2011.

The programme is designed for those with minimum dining room experience. It covers basic food, wine and beverage service.

The standard of performance for the techniques of service presented in this programme is based on the International Business & Gourmet Standards of Hospitality (IBGS).

Thus far 54 persons have been accepted into the progamme and training commencement dates have been scheduled. All 54 persons are guaranteed jobs upon successful completion of the course work.

Our collective goal is to re-train and employ 100 Bermudians as phase one of this programme.

The application process remains open and I am today encouraging interested persons to contact the Department of Labour and Training to register for the Waiter/Server Certification programme.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labour and Training continues to work with the wider community to secure employment opportunities for all persons seeking employment. During the last quarter of 2011, one hundred and forty-nine (149) new clients registered with the Department and four hundred and eighty (480) clients re-registered, indicating that they continued to seek employment.

The Department of Labour and Training assisted with 96 job placements in October and November and are in the processing of finalizing the December statistics to determine December’s total which will provide for the Department’s fourth quarter job placement results.

As a note, the Labour and Training Department will establish a hotline which can be called by persons needing work. There will be an established turnaround time for response to these calls. On a weekly basis, the Labour and Training Director will be providing me with a report on the status of persons’ application.

Elsewhere in the Ministry, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation is helping to address unemployment by working with small and medium-sized businesses.

We believe that one of the keys to economic recovery lies with small business owners and entrepreneurs with the imagination and drive to innovate and start small businesses. One of the BEDC’s key initiatives is to provide help to companies looking to establish themselves with secure start-up funding.

As at 30th November, 2011 small businesses guaranteed by the BEDC totaled 66 at a value of $4.29 million. The Corporation’s contingent liability was $3.5 million and supporting loans totaled $10.9 million.

The BEDC also provides a catalyst to establish a greater array of services in Bermuda that, in turn, are attractive to both international businesses establishing themselves here and tourists visiting the Island.
Stimulating entrepreneurship drives job creation and empowers Bermudians to become part of the engine for economic sustainability.
Additionally, the Government is actively generating opportunities for Bermudians to expand their skills through developing unique small jobs programmes in conjunction with companies that have successfully completed programmes via the Corporation, like the Construction Incubator Programme.

Such initiatives include:

 The Small Jobs Initiative which resulted from a partnership between Ministry of ETI, the BEDC, Ministry of Government Estates and Information Services, and Ministry of Youth, Families and Sport. It resulted in the delivery of an employment scheme which generated short-term employment for unemployed Bermudians registered with the Department of Labour and Training.

This programme provided a weekly salary of $600 per week for up to 20 persons for a twelve week period. The programme concluded in December 2011. At least one of the participants from this programme went on to full-time employment at the KEMH job site.

Also, the BEDC is currently in the process of working with the Ministry of Government Estates and Information Services to launch a pilot programme that will see small businesses drawing on the pool of unemployed persons registered the Department of Labour and Training to secure government cleaning contracts. The Dame Lois Brown-Evans building is expected to represent the pilot programme under this initiative in the coming weeks.

Further, the TRI 30 work experience initiative that was introduced in September 2011 and successfully concluded with a commencement ceremony held on December 5 is another fine example of a government programme that has resulted in a short-term economic boost to its participants.

This programme provided jobs and much needed work experience for 30 young people and put $250,000 into the pockets of the 30 participants in the form of salaries.

The longer-term priority is to achieve economic growth and prepare the Bermudian labour pool to succeed in filling the needs of the job market, which increasingly requires individuals who can fill knowledge based employment.

Overall, the Government is committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure that we promote long-term sustainable growth in Bermuda in a variety of ways.

 Ensuring growth in the tourism sector;

 Ensuring that International businesses thrive; and

 Diversifying into new areas such as opportunities in ‘green’ industries.

Finally, I want to emphasise that this Government will continue to work with employers more closely because it is in everyone’s best interest to employ more Bermudians. As I’ve said previously, our collective role in employing Bermudians is critical to the sustainability of the country.

We will continue to take the necessary steps to educate and help people adapt to the new realities of the Bermuda economy and the employment opportunities that are available.

Our role is to assist job-seeking individuals to make the transition to the new economic circumstances.

It should be pointed out that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry continues to develop and reform policies, programme and initiatives and in the coming weeks and months more of initiatives will be rolled out.

Programmes such as JobCorps are actively being developed; Certification and training progammes via the National Training Board are ongoing.

Strategic plans for the Once Stop Career Center have been completed and implementation plans are nearing completion. I have today provided but a snap shot of the many programmes and initiatives that are designed to put real people into real jobs.

I want to close by saying that I clearly have empathy for those families and employers who are struggling through these hard times. We are all in this together, and Government is moving to make it better by enacting policies. We are listening, we are being proactive and we are reacting quickly to the changing situations in the work place.

Thank you.

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The Premier’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon:

Yesterday, I announced that I was publishing the Incentives for Job Makers. Today is the announcement of another prong of the Government’s strategy to create jobs for Bermudians.

All able-bodied Bermudians should be able to obtain a job before work permits are granted, particularly in the jobs that do not require specialised qualifications. While we may not able to get the jobs that we desire, we should be able to get a job to pay the bills until the jobs that we desire become available.

This is also an opportunity to try new opportunities in fields where there is still an abundance of job opportunities, such in the medical and caregiver fields; landscaping; cleaning; and certainly in the Hospital industries.

While it is not the Government’s intention to impede businesses, we must also recognise that we are in this together and we all must do our part. We cannot continue to issue work permits without ensuring that companies are doing all they can to hire Bermudians. The old refrain that Bermudians do not want to work or make their time cannot be applied to persons that up to now have been productive working citizens who have been made redundant through no fault of their own.

Let me make it clear that we are not tarring all employers with the same brush. Many employers are doing all they can to keep Bermudians employed, particularly in these trying economic times.

The articles in the Royal Gazette last week regarding Fulcrum and MEF Limited highlight the actions that these employers are doing to employ Bermudians. They must be commended for their efforts. Employers that demonstrate that they are putting Bermudians first will get a very smooth ride from the Bermuda Government. We are hoping that we will see even more of this from employers.

While the focus is on the private sector, Government has also implemented changes to its processes to provide opportunities to Bermudian contractors, particularly those that have graduated from the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

The Project Management and Procurement Office have amended the criteria for evaluating bids to give a higher weight to those companies that have mostly Bermudian workers. In addition they have eliminated the criteria that had traditionally excluded the smaller companies.

In addition, the Government is also not sitting on its laurels waiting for things to improve. We must also provide an enabling environment for Bermudians to obtain jobs. Minister Minors will speak to some of the initiatives that she is implementing.

Thank you.

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Comments (79)

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  1. Day Late.......... says:

    Happy to see the PLP sees the problem. Good news!

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  2. NCB says:

    I think the Government needs to be careful on "Caregivers". What do many captains of Bermuda Industry often have? Children. What do those Children have? Nannies. Sending home someone integral to the family causes discontent and a reason to leave - that doesn't sound very pro-business to me. Largely the rest seems sensible.

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    • simon says:

      BS BS BS

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    • Tommy Chong says:

      There are great nannies in Bermuda already who put their heart & soul into childcare. Expats who have a problem will just have to put their prejudices aside. As for the peanut wages they have their foreign nannies on OH WELL! they come to Bermuda to make top dollar so they can afford to pay proper wages. Besides I would think that there's no bargaining when it comes to good childcare.

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      • skeptical says:

        After visiting some Bermudians that provided childcare, I had to and pay the extra amount for a work permit for an English nanny because I was appalled at what my child would have been subjected to on a daily basis. Surely the childcare should have been over and beyond what I provide at home if I am to feel comfortable leaving my child for the majority of the day in someone else's care. The nanny came with qualifications from the english certification system and had primary school teaching certification as well. I couldn't have asked for a better start to life for my child. I hope that regulations and monitoring is in place for child caregivers and that they are under the specialised workers category, but that is certainly what they are!!!

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        • Tommy Chong says:

          I've had my child cared for by a Bermudian of Portuguese decent (not to say someone of other decent would be unqualified) and she was wonderful at her job. She didn't have any fancy qualifications just a cpr & first aid certification & loads of experience since her mother was childcare giver before her. Many private school teachers in Bermuda have entrusted her to care for there children. There were times for certain reasons I arrived late to pick my child up & tried to give her extra pay but she modestly would not except it. Many children she has cared for recognize her years later as their second mother because of the love she showed them. There's many of these people existing in Bermuda & this to me is priceless.

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          • Friendly Faces says:

            We have a nanny for our children, but when we advertised the position also stated that we wanted someone to help with the general housekeeping - washing, ironing, cleaning. We had 2 Bermudian applicants, both of which said they WOULD NOT TAKE THE JOB as these tasks demeaned them. That's why you need contract labour.

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            • Onion says:

              Well to be honest with you I've positions like this where the nanny was a maid/nanny. They would have a ridiculous amount of stuff they wanted done while she was supposed to be watching the child.

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              • jack says:

                @skeptical. You should be appalled at yourself. You couldnt find a bermudian nanny suitable enough for your child. I guess your not suitable enough either to care for you own child either. Is this why you hired a nanny. ?????? A child needs a mothers love. Not a permanent babysitter or stranger.

                Im appalled at this nanny BULL CRAP. There are suitable caregivers for children in bermuda. Ask people out side of your immediate circle and you shall find someone just as loving and caring.

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                • observer says:

                  I definately would not want you with that attitude and language taking care of my child. My wife and I have given our kids to our parents in their earlier years and we were fortunate. Unfortunately, many Bermudians do have a chip on their shoulders, start off good and then turn into very poor performers. Ones doing this work truly have to have passion for children and not do it because of the paycheck, and that is hard to find on the island. I am a midclass hardworking Bermudian that is getting disgusted with our peoples attitudes and poor work ethic.

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                • Skeptical says:

                  @jack that was a really bizarre comment! What are you rambling on about? I had to RETURN TO WORK after staying home for 4 months with my child (three paid maternity months and one unpaid month). So to replace my love and care, as a working parent, I needed to find someone who gave that same level of care to watch my child while I was at work. You silly little man!!

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  3. all clogged up says:

    I only have 2 requests:

    Come to work on time and make an honest effort for 8 hours

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    • Soooo says:

      And show up when it's raining!!

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    • dee dee says:

      and show up on Monday morning on time!

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    • Frank says:

      And understand that a Monday thru Friday work week includes the days in between Monday and Friday....and regardless of whether your kid is sick.

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      • part of the solution says:

        Hope you are never in the position of choosing to stay home or go to work when your child is sick..... although it sounds like we know which you would choose.

        Schools do not allow the child to be there if they are sick it is an unenviable situation, I have been in it a few times... but at the end of the day I chose to have my child and it is my primary responsibility to look after him so he always comes first.

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      • pebblebeach says:

        Frank...you are an "azz" on this one matey....for your sake hope your kids or or your kids's kids never get sick and require medical attention...right minded employers even provide for a number of sick days off for staff to attend to their kid's illness...

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      • Tommy Chong says:

        Of course foreign masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, waiters, servers, secretaries and caregivers don't stay home to take care of their sick child. This is because the child is back in their country with grandma, grandpa, aunty, uncle, husband or wife who goes monthly to western union to get the thousand sent to them by the parent. For caregivers this shows a lot that they are willing to neglect their child to take care of another's for money.

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        • pessimist x -1 says:

          it is easy for you to say because you have tons of money to pay for an oh-so-qualifoed English nanny..... does it not show a lot about you too as well that you have to get somebody to care for your own child? oh for what? to work? that's for money too right? or what? to have more time to play golf?...

          Leaving them does not necessarily means neglecting them.... don't be light on throwing stones to others....

          And puhleeaaassseee...... what kind of care are you giving to your child if he/she has to get sick twice or thrice a week.... on alternate days!!!!!

          I agree that Bermudians for bermuda jobs first...... but i don't think it is fair to throw the blame on the work permit holders who are just taking the opportunity to work.... how about the bermudians working abroad.... I'm sure there's a whole lot more americans or Englishmen to do their jobs too.... why won't the government work on the ridiculously high cost of living and rent here so that residents wouldn't have to complain on the low salary...

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    • Hmmm says:

      and if requiredf to work more than 8 hours and on weekends pls do not complain

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    • Tommy Chong says:

      Because ALL Bermudians are lazy good for nothings who do the above & below statements? Employment of foreigners in these jobs has nothing to do with being able to underpay foreign staff? Get a life prejudiced pr****!! This is why there's ghettos in the United States & we are on our way to this in Bermuda. Good job Patrice on making a change despite criticism from the greedy. We didn't land on North Rock. North Rock landed on us.

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      • pessimist x -1 says:

        oh and by the way.. can you lay pipes? build walls? because it seems to me that is not a specialist job... well... if so... we might be all be able to do it... greediness is taking something that you do not work hard for....

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    • Unemployed says:

      I need a job... Can u help me

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  4. Sweetbawy says:

    While I understand why the government is doing we are not in it together because must them don't own business I not even going to get into how they Tax business to death, but a lot of our own people come with to much baggage and they bring it to work and the business pays a price for it and we still have to pay them while they drag down your business. People that work in government they are safe where in this together please.

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    • Sweetbawy says:

      I guess I was writing when Soooo Says and All Clogged up was writing but that what I am talking about.

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    • simon says:

      Yes and when you provide the fix for this , please forward to all governments around the world

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    • too bad says:

      From my personal experience, I've had to fire an expat for stealing, discipline others as well for non-performance and not renew contracts for less than stellar behavior and work ethic. So should I condemn all expats in one swoop because of these bad apples? That's effectively what you're saying about Bermudians.

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      • GoodIdeaBadIdea says:

        Good Idea: Showing up for work on time 5 days a week and work 8 hours a day.

        Bad Idea: Calling in "sick" on Monday for 5 weeks in a row because you drank 8 dark and stormys on Sunday evening.

        The End....

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  5. Sandman says:

    Masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians are "non-specialist"?

    That's pretty offensive and shows a shocking lack of insight.

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    • wtf says:

      It is for me. For a government minister she is sure lacking her specialist skill as trade minister. She needs to look up her facts before she opens up her mouth.

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    • Tommy Chong says:

      These type of skills can be trained onsite to a local & most foreigners need to learn the ins & outs of homebuilding in Bermuda anyway since Bermuda homes even though similarly built to some other places are not exactly the same. You cannot train someone how to do insurance, law, high level accounting, etc. onsite. This is what makes Masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians are “non-specialist”

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      • too bad says:

        I can't speak for the other trades but top electricians in Bermuda are regularly trained practically in Bermuda and in theory overseas. It is specialised if you get to the top of the trade. Anyone can glue PVC and pull wire. Mastering the Code (NEC) and interpreting the reference specification tables is not a layperson skill.

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      • skeptical says:

        Then why does the NTB provide certification for the trades? I thought the government required that all electricians, masons etc be licenced and certified before they could work. Has this changed?

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      • Bermudian@heart.. says:

        fully agree 98per cent of these guys that come in and work as masons never worked as masons before dont care what anyone says its just because they are on a work permit that they show up for work every day and of course at the end of the day they will learn ..if they dont show up for work they are allways warned that they will be sent back so they have no choice but to work and dont you dare call in sick on a Monday morning or say anything about not whant to work on a Saturday ..

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  6. Gillian says:

    I agree with you Sandman, but wouldn't like that to take away from the message. I hope the categories are carefuly looked at but it would only build resentment if ex-pats continue to be employed over bermudians where a Bermudian has the skills, qualifications and experience to do the job. The firm I work for was oftern overlooked for foreigner firms, but.....

    Would also like to add that the small business I work for has benefited from the new tender papers that Ms Albon has put in place in the Procurement office. We used the Incubator at BSBDC and got real good advice.

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  7. Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

    When it comes to care givers ....NO ONE should dictate who i WANT to care for my mother or father....so just knock that idea in the head ,,,and im not gonna hire people on a trial basis .....we are talking about peoples loved ones...
    ok say goodbye to small construction firms who may have given you a better deal than the 3 major firms on the island....these people that run this country is a joke ....living in a story book life....oh well it looks like a lot more foreign women will be married now or is that against the law too....fully dissappointed in this island

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    • Tommy Chong says:

      So what happens if your trusted care giver ups & quits? OOOH!!! I almost forgot you can still ship in one of their relatives to relieve them because even though you never met them their more trust worthy than a BERMUDIAN.

      The 3 major construction firms have more foreigners working for them than any small one so don't know where your going with that.

      There's already loads of young foreign women married elderly Bermudians waiting for them to kick the bucket. See a new one everyday I go for lunch so this has nothing to do with the new law. There's nothing judgmental about this because what can a girl in her 20s or 30s gain from a man in his 70s or 80's besides money & status.

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      • Devilish gRin says:

        I beg to disagree of what you mentioned Tommy that women in their 20's and 30's are just up for BERMUDIAN'S fortune. I must admit,there is REALLY an age gap,but there is also a thing called love. And so,let's not make it an issue.

        I also believe that foreign care giver, won't give up unless they are given the right benefits that are for them.

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        • Bermudian@heart.. says:

          Dude you need to pinch your self ,, and get real , man wake up to the FACTS..of course its about money and most of all satus..

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      • Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

        Tommy Chong ...u ought to change your name to Ding Dong or go and tske another hit off your Bong...there is not ONE sentence that you have made any contribution to the matter at hand exept the sentence where you admit to not knowing where i was going with my statement....you just opened your mouth and nothing but sh!t fell out ok ....NOW why would you worry about who marries who ?? its not YOUR Status or MONEY which is in question...so go and get the PLP construction firms to get your house built (Island Const. or Corriea Constr.) or are you already in a position eo sit back and moan about what your neighbor is doing...coz i see you commented on practically everyones post here today ...you are just pokey.. also how did you get your caregiver??? AND im not talking about children ...im talking about seniors ok ...maybe you bath YOUR mom or assist in doing what is necessary for her which i doubt coz apparently you cant care for your own children....so you get a (portuguese) bermudian and didnt settle for someone who just needs a job DID YOU!! so stay out of peoples personal business coz that aint cool at all...YOUR talking about MY MOTHERS WELLBEING.

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    • too bad says:

      actually, the big firms are pricing better than the smaller companies right now...

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  8. Erica says:

    I think working closely with those requesting work permits is a better approach than complete closure for some positions. Once you close something it is difficult to undo any damage done and re-opening when you realize that you reacted instead of fixing leaves egg on ones face.

    I am all for Bermudians being employed, however restricting certain jobs is an unfair way to do it especially for those employers whom you are harming. We don't even have a technical school so where will these plumbers, electricians and masons come from...many young men that get lost would rather go and learn a trade in their teenage years then remain in an academic environment where they become problems because they do not fit it...so start to equip our young people to PREPARE them to take over the positions.

    I have remained a supporter of Minister Minors however this one I cannot agree with as I am SURE that there are better ways to tackle it. And if Mr Furbert was a bit nicer then perhaps those seeking work permits would be happy to have him or the BIU be a part of their hiring process.

    Please rethink before we react and regret........

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    • star man says:

      The plp always forgets about the "Law of Unintended Consequences." There is no need to close off ANY positions to guest workers, our current Immigration Laws take care of that. You advertise for a Bermudian, if no one applies who is qualified you can usually get a Work Permit. The current Immigration Policy has worked for this long, why change it now and risk putting someone's business in jeopardy, like the landscaping business fiasco. How's that working out for you...??

      Protectionism rarely works without causing problems elsewhere.

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      • pessimist x -1 says:

        hehe... have you been observing the roundabouts these days? january and still no winter blooms.....

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      • Irene says:

        Yeah, I concur. I'm not in Bermuda right now, but when I were, I was under the impression a foreigner cannot be employed unless the employer proves they could not find a Bermudian to fill the position.
        I don't see this well for Bermuda, let's not forget it lives off tourism basically. In that respect I see a problem on the long term about restricting servers and receptionists. Foreigners who do not perform, you can always fire and they become somebody else's responsibility (the country they come from); Bermudians will become, again, Bermuda's responsibility. I agree, the Minister should work closely with businesses in this and maybe have a gradual approach (to allow for training of locals).

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  9. For Sure says:

    Let's face it, the building boom is over. All of the construction firm bosses have made their money using foreign workers and are now laughing all the way to the bank. This problem has been going on for years, companies who used more foreign workers were able to undercut others who employed mostly Bermudians. I know because of the boom we didn't have enough local workers and no one could have foreseen the dip in the economy but you have to admit that regulation on foreign workers in construction was lax to say the least. I am not saying foreign workers are bad in any way, they helped rent our apartments, drink plenty of beer at our bars and hopefully taught something new in construction to locals, but now there is so little work this strategy seems to be a bit late now. As far as caregivers go I actually witnessed a local care giver lose a 2-3 year old at the aquarium the other day (the child was found and returned by the wonderful staff at the aquarium). She was a nice lady but couldn't keep up because of her age. I'm sure there are plenty of capable local care givers here but the problem again is monitoring and regulation.

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    • star man says:

      There are NOT enough good local care givers in Bermuda to service the market. That is a fact. So closing that off that category likely would put local Nursery Schools in jeopardy.

      There's that “Law of Unintended Circumstances” again.

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  10. Ask the Bermuda landscaping businesses how it's working for them!!

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    • observer says:

      A disaster!! Just look at our public roads. Years ago, it was portuguese in public works, everything was cut neat, trees on road sides trimmed and lots of flowers at botenical gardens and at the roundabouts. Now the locals have sit down mowers, they don't need to cut many hedges due to property owners having given the responsiblilty and it is 4 times the staff. Just look around, it is not the bermuda of yester years. This summer the grass was up to our knees in some areas of the south shore. Look at the hotels, any flower beds. Look at private homes, you can almost tell where a portuguese person lives. I am sorry to say, we talk alot, but do very little work.

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  11. wtf says:

    Its all BS at the end of the day. Face it you guys failed. Call the election now so this island can move on before more damage gets done.

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  12. Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

    I jus wanna add this bit of info here....i had to go and inquire about a care giver for my senior father...well there was no way that i could afford "professional" residence or hire a registered Nurse (actually 3 nurses for a 24 hr period)...What in the world are these people thinking...i would have spent everything that my father had saved for his family to continue thier survival in this country as well as what ever i had stashed in the cookie jar in less than a year...i also have a mother who is now needing assistance...Well im here to tell you that i have decided to marry a Filipino who has NOTHING but my best interest at heart and also appreciates immensely the little things that i do for her ,unlike the .......... Nah!! im not even gonna say it.

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    • Gambler says:

      You just said it in a nut shell why you married your filipino you wanted a care giver you dirty low life scum bag she will dump you butt lololol

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      • Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

        Firstly you dummy I didnt say i was married to a filipina but i did say i will marry one because of women like you....just your choice of words tell me that you are a hater hahahah....whats wrong ...does no one want to marry you ?
        i dont blame them

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  13. The Ridiculist says:

    It's interesting that the government is putting a stop on work permits for jobs at the bottom of the barrel for Bermudians. Do you all not see the big picture? What happen to middle class jobs where there are capable and willing Bermudians that will do the middle class job to earn a salary where they can survive. The jobs that are being closed will still have Bermudians either poor or borderline poor. This government does not have me fooled. My eyes are wide open. It's obvious they could care less if the restaurants, or gardners close up shop. Their money compares nothing to how the international business lines the government pockets. On a separate note, they know that Bermudians will never do those jobs cause they could not survive on slave salaries.

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    • Keepin' It Real.....4Real!! says:

      lets do like Jamaica did a few weeks ago....Remove the ruling party because if we dont ,,,,we will be little Haiti by the end of the year...they cant control 100 teenagers how in the world will they control a foreign entity from calling in their debts (cry out to Britain ???) hahahahaa
      What is it gonna take before YOU ALL wake up ......sighhh!! and YOU ALL know who you are...

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    • Tommy Chong says:

      How can you say masons, carpenters, electricians & plumbers are bottom of the barrel jobs. Many of these people for years made $30 or more an hour aside from the recent third world country cheap labor employers are bringing in but that type of action has digressed us back to the 1930's when indentured servants where brought in.

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      • Ok says:

        You act like $30 an hour is a lot of money. It's not a bad wage, but let's be real, you are only talking about $55,000 salary per year when you take out deductions. What house can be bought on this rock with that salary?

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        • Legal Reasons? says:

          You forget 2 things here...

          1) Nobody is entitled to home ownership in life. (Ahh, the good ol' American dream! That is so 20 years ago!) You can still provide a decent (better nowadays if you ask me) roof for your family by renting.

          2) If your partner earns similar wages, then you can certainly attain that goal.

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    • Ok says:

      A government that is supposedly empowering black people has been feeding us just enough crumbs so that we keep them in power. Why is it that when I drive around Bermuda that most postmen, garbage collectors, labourers, street sweepers, bus drivers, & public works employees are black? There is nothing wrong with these honest forms of employment, but to me there seems to be an in balance of black people working in them. As a black man I am insulted by this current government. They use this so called "black empowerment" to keep themselves in power, but yet have done very little to help the average black person. Why have they not set up programs to help educate black people so that they can strive toward careers that offer real economic empowerment? It seems they have done a great job in keeping the black man in his place, in the lower echelons on society. What makes it even worse to me, is that black people think this government is doing something for them. Are we really that dumb? We must be, because we can't even see these frauds for who they really are.

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  14. Jim Bean says:

    End term limits. It is simple - the reason they wont is because paula was a major player in the policy creation. I wonder how she was employed in IB for as long as she was!! s

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  15. LOOKING says:

    Hopefully they will look at work permits that are being held by "professional chef's" when their main task is slicing meat in a grocery store. Please, any Bermudian can do this if only they paid the Bermudian the 16-18 an hour these guys are getting.

    Waiter/Waitresses/Bartenders, Unless you have min 1-3 years experience a Bermudian is not being offered the positions. Please, do you need 3 years experience to wait on tables in a Pub. (excluding silver service) but this to can be trained.

    There are a lot of businesses out there that are tailoring job descriptions to keep their expat staff employed. This is a fact and i believe most of us know it.

    Wise up government, have a look into the trumped up job descriptions and get Bermudians working.

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    • Tommy Chong says:

      The most ridiculous one I've seen is a waiter needed posting in the paper that said, “must have experience serving international cuisine.” So I'm wondering what's not international cuisine codfish & potatoes? It's obvious that this requirement was left so ambiguous to allow for the denial of any Bermudian applying. “I'm sorry sir I understand you have experience in serving french, italian, latino, chinese, jamaican & japanese cuisine but we are looking for experience in serving nauruan cuisine.”

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  16. Anon Ymous says:

    The Government is wallowing in the aftermath of not, while times were good, investing in the vocational education and skill set of it's people. Rather than legislate on what foreigners are allowed / not allowed to do, implement some vocational training and apprenticeships in the fields which are lacking in local labour; a few years down the road the whole 'expats taking our jobs' debacle is a non-issue with qualified Bermudians holding the jobs theyve trained for.

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  17. No way says:

    Im not hiring any non qualified people no matter where they are from and government cannot tell me what today them? Go run with that.

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  18. jack says:

    ALL JOBS FIRST FOR BERMUDIANS. EXPATS CLAIM THE ARE BUILDING OUR ECONOMY BUT THEY ARE DRAINING OUR ECONOMY. SUCK IT TO THEM MINORS. SEND THEM HOME!!!

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    • Sinking feeling says:

      Yes Jack jobs for the lazy Bermudians who want to get paid for a weeks salary but actually put in 10hrs of work. Yes the foreigners are coming here to work and make some $$$ to better their life and their family so what the opportunity is there for the taking. Bermudians are in every f&$$kng part of the world why you don't want them sent back to their home, it's ok for Bermudians to get and have opportunities but it's not ok for other nationalities to be afforded the same. Typical selfish spoiled Bermudians

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    • observer says:

      If it wasn't for expats we would not have an economy. Don't you get this? take a look at the documentary called"Life and Debt." We are doing exactly what they did, and 40 years later they still haven't recovered. without expat businesses ans expat tourists, where will you get the money to buy food to eat? Don't continue to bite the hand that is feeding us, because one day that hand may decide to feed someone else. Guess what it has started due to comments like these you just made.

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  19. Nikki says:

    Observation: anytime PLP wants votes they boost up the talk about foreigner's and how they are gonna have them leave and keep Bermudian's first. If you think about the last election, Dr. Brown did the same thing...foreign this and foreign that and Bermuda for Bermudians first. Yet i saw even more foreign workers since PLP has been in power than ever before!! haha can't u see and ( yes i am 100% Bermudian) that this is what PLP does to get people on board? They know a lot of black Bermudians in particular loathe any kind of foreign worker and WE are their main target, we BLACK BERMUDIANS are who's vote they particularly want. Well I am sorry...i refuse to be blinded by certain things. While I do agree that Bermuda should be for Bermudians...lest we forget all of the things that have gone wrong under the PLP government. Keep your eyes wide open people...do not b blinded!

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  20. Boom says:

    Ex-pats and rascism. It is all the PLP can come up with. They are a sad excuse for a people, who have squandered the future their fathers and mothers worked so hard to create. Pathetic, pathetic pathetic.

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  21. observer says:

    I will close my business before loosing my reputation. I will not go through the frustration and headaches as I did before.I can not see myself having to charge more due to non productive time and mistakes by individuals that don't take a job as a profession with pride. I will be a one man band, serving my customers and hiring part timers that will work by my side for larger projects.Instead of six pensions, payrole taxes, insurance, hospital levy, there would only be one.

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  22. Shaking the Head says:

    How ironic that the same Ministers making these sweeping generalizations about ability or skills are the same Ministers who have been shuffled around Cabinet because they have no ability or skills to work successfully at their assigned positions. Minister Minors being a classic example when she headed Tourism even though all she had as experience was as a waitress at a hotel.

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  23. Chardonnay says:

    What a load of hogwash from Minister Patrice Minors - she is a walking talking disaster. As Minister of Health she oversaw the debacle of 'put hospital in Botanical Gardens' and wasted hundreds of thousands (if not more) on consultants. As Minister of Tourism she oversaw (actually, didn't see it coming) the demise of cruise ship visits. Now she says masons and secretaries are unskillled? Yah, I wanna unskilled ace boy to build my house - if he shows up to work, that is. Give me a break. Plus, who do you think pays the rents, buys the bikes and cars, groceries, etc., that keep Bermudian businesses afloat? Dat woman dunno what she's talking about. They pay Rolfe over $100,000 a year to flap his chops while we go begging for jobs, food, a decent place to live. It's all PLP smoke and mirrors. Don't believe it Bermuda.

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