“Bermudians Passed Over For Employment”

November 21, 2014

[Updated with Minister's response] “Despite the parade of photo ops put out by the OBA, the issue of qualified, capable Bermudians being passed over for employment in favor of foreign workers continues to be too often experienced by Bermudians,” Shadow Minister for Labour Relations and Seniors Derrick Burgess said in a statement last night.

Mr. Burgess said, “While we welcome improvements in the area of Workforce Development, reports of otherwise qualified Bermudians being passed over for employment are concerning.”

He said the first two cases that were brought to his attention involved two Bermudians with “decades of experience in their fields denied even the courtesy of an interview” after “failing” an online test with a hotel, and another case involved a Bermudian who “despite being eminently qualified to work here in Bermuda was rejected repeatedly in favor of non-Bermudians and forced to secure employment in her field overseas.”

“At any time, Bermudians should come first in jobs and opportunities in our country and with so many Bermudians out of work we simply cannot accept Bermudians being denied the opportunity to even interview for posts in which they are qualified,” added Mr. Burgess.

“While Minister Fahy poses for photo ops and issues work permits without apology, qualified, capable, law abiding Bermudians are being denied opportunities to compete for jobs in our own country,” concluded Mr. Burgess.

The Minister’s spokesperson and the OBA have not yet responded to our request for comment, however we will update as able.

Update 12.27pm: Minister Fahy expressed “grave concern” over Mr Burgess’ remarks, saying that “if the Shadow Minister has information of qualified, capable Bermudians being passed over for employment in favor of foreign workers then he should make the specifics of those cases available to the Ministry of Immigration; the facts need to be laid out so that they can be addressed through the proper channels.”

The Minister went on to say, “This Government is committed to business and job growth, and one of our main goals is to restore economic health to Bermuda, to create new conditions that enable Bermudians to find work and career opportunities.

“Our initiatives through the Department of Workforce Development are indications of a serious commitment to getting Bermudians back to work.

“To further our efforts in this regard, the Government created the Bermuda Job Board – a national employment database operated by the Department of Workforce Development.

“The Bermuda Job Board is an online platform available to Bermudians seeking employment opportunities with the main objective of consolidating and centralizing jobs available in the Bermuda market.

“Linked to this, in July of this year the Department of Workforce Development and Bermuda Cablevision announced Channel 87 – a station dedicated to showcasing Job Board”.

“This Government is focused every day on creating opportunities for Bermudians and stimulating an environment in which business feels confident and moves to create jobs.

“Our work permit policies are designed to help turn around the economy in ways that will benefit Bermudians directly and indirectly, and those comments made by Mr. Burgess are disingenuous by implying that work permits are being issued without employers strictly adhering to the Department of Immigrations work permit requirements. Contrary to Mr. Burgess’ remarks I am not issuing work permits without apology!

“As a matter of fact, the public should be reminded that in 2013 the One Bermuda Alliance released the least amount of work permits,” added Minister Fahy.

“To that end, Mr. Burgess’ statement yesterday was unproductive and his efforts should be better spent supporting what the Department of Workforce Development and the Bermuda Industrial Union are seeking to do.

“This is not a photo opportunity, there will be no cameras. This is simply an effort by the Department to afford people the opportunity to sign up to the Job Board in the comfort of the BIU without prying eyes. Something I am fully in support of,” concluded Minister Fahy.

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  1. It had been the Progressive Labour Party that opened the floodgates, permitting overseas worker on Island doing menial jobs that just about any Bermudian can do yet the Bermudians were overlooked…I wonder why?
    I too can see people in grocery stores, farmlands and quite a few more positions held down by people who aren’t Bermudians doing jobs our own should have been doing for a least a decade :-( So please Mr. Derrick Burgess accept the truth and the facts that this “shxt’ started with the Progressive Labour Party at the helm…

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      At that time unemployment was at the lowest point in Bermuda’s history (look it up) so there where far more jobs then Bermudians to fill them. Times have changed & there aren’t enough jobs to go around so it all comes down to balance.

      • CommonSensenBda says:

        During the PLP’s term in office, during the economic downturn that was witnessed under that same party, how many work-permit holders were shown the door and told to leave the Island?!

    • QB says:

      It would be better for Bermuda if the people and parties would focus on the issues and not each other. it may well be true that the PLP gave out permits liberally in this industry but that doesn’t excuse it being done by the OBA in this economic climate. Any fool can read the ads by immigration advisory employment service agencies and get the picture. The fact is that these employers do not want Bermudians when they can get non-Bermudians for one third less, seven days a week with little benefits. We expect a man to progress in life and take care of a family like that?? On to the hotels- One has over a hundred question computer test for a security position that ironically requires you answer counter intuitively to security job traits. We all are aware of the many strategies companies use to avoid hiring Bermudians and granted there may be many that genuinely would love to hire a well qualified Bermudian with fifteen years experience in nuclear physics and space shuttle analytics but let’s face it there are many who don’t and realistically it’s not fair to expect the majority to be so fitting. “It is unrealistic to revert to the Bermudians aren’t applying and which exact company did this shock rhetoric”

      • CommonSensenBda says:

        Question: When the hotels started to conduct these “fixed” employment practices, WHAT DID THE VAUNTED PLP DO TO HALT THOSE PRACTICES!!!

        Answer: NOTHING , NADA , ZILCH , ZIP , AND TONS OF ONTHER EXCUSES BETWEEN
        2010 – 2012.

    • frank says:

      it started long before the plp came into power and we all know that so stop talking sh===t

    • ETPHONEHOME says:

      Exactly. Soundly like the pots calling the kettles black to me.

      Henderson Travel & Associates (Ewart) and Derrick Green (Sean Crockwell)

      SAME THING!

  2. inna says:

    So Burgess hears two peoples stories, and decides to put out a press release? Substance is lacking, and all this sounds like is a an angry person ranting. If you are so concerned Burgess, call the place that would not give your friend an interview and ask them why. Im sure you will get a reason!

    More noise from the Party-Loving-Party!!

    • 32n64w says:

      As an elected representative of the People, Mr. Burgess has an obligation to report his concerns to the Department of Immigration so they can investigate.

      His failure to do so in favour of making this a political football for party gain does a serious disservice to Bermudians.

      Then again should we be surprised when the PLP put their concerns before the electorates via media sound-bytes? Given their track record of self dealing, absolutely not.

      PLP – Party before country since 1998, one unemployed voter at a time.

    • rene says:

      Derrick Burgess is absolutely correct. He can add me to the list of those not even being given the dignity of an interview.

      • Stunned says:

        May I make a suggestion to anyone looking for a job and who thinks they are not being given the courtesy of any consideration – when you submit a job application make sure you attach a copy of your covering letter and resume and send it to the Ministry of Home affairs. Find the name of the senior Civil Servant in that department and address your details. At this point you as a candidate have informed the Ministry of your efforts. You have independently advised them that a Bermudian has applied, supplied your credentials and references. You should be in a much better place to challenge the outcome rather than assuming anything on the part of the Ministry or the potential company.

      • fedup says:

        Were you actually qualified, or are you expecting a handout simply because you’re Bermudian?

  3. Kim Smith says:

    At this high level this sounds concerning. Unfortunately without more detail it’s hard to be absolutely sure that something underhanded has gone on.

    • Ian Hunter says:

      It’s interesting that the first 2 cases he mentioned, “Failed an online test” that the hotel has. He can’t understand why they weren’t hired even though they have decades of experience.
      Well Mr. Burgess they FAILED the test. Why would you want to interview them. What all the rest of the applicants have to pass should be the same for Bermudians. Obviously the hotel wants the best to keep the hotel the best.

      • Thanks says:

        Maybe the hotel should lower there standards for Bermudians!

        • Thanks says:

          I am sure Bermuda Immigration are well aware of there test.

      • rene says:

        If you google discrimination in tests you can possibly figure out that employers can tell a lot about a person based on how they answer the questions. For example if you wanted to exclude all persons over 40 give them a test that asks them to recall some algebraic equation they did 25 years ago. If you wanted to exclude hispanics or blacks ask them some language/word based questions. I could give more examples but maybe you can do your own research.

        • Hmmm says:

          If immigration are aware of the test used, then they would have vetted it.

          People want to hire people who will get the job done and get it done properly.

      • Islandgal says:

        I worked for a hotel & had to write an advert for a dishwasher. I was also responsible to give job seekers “The Test” that the Manageress(foreigner) provided. Everyone failed even the re-applying dishwashers. How many rooms in the hotel? what’s the name of the beach? Who pays your wages? The name of the dining room & so on. Nothing about the job they were applying for.Low & behold a non english speaking man from the Philippines (The brother of a sous chef) got the job without taking the test. The Manageress also gave me an envelope full of resumes from foreigners that were not even on the island. I had no other choice but to share the info with the immigration dept. Yes she (manageress) lost her job. This was eleven yrs. ago. It still goes on, nothing has changed, just sugarcoated.

    • rene says:

      Employers have learned how to write job description s to suit the individual they wish to hire. Thats not new however Bermuda does not have a watchdog reviewing job description s that upon review would exclude 99% of Bermudian s. Until Bermuda gets an immigration department that actually works for Bermudian s , I just hear sad stories about one day this that and the other, perhaps that’s a department that should be outsourced first so that Bermudian s can get jobs. Im all for it. In the meantime Bermudian s welfare will continue to be manipulated by local companies while immigration delivers lip service. So sad. And I dont support the notion that companies can come here and do whatever they like. If they want to enjoy tax benefits or even our beaches then they have to hire Bermudian s or get cracking.

  4. hmmm says:

    So that if true is two of which one failed a test, and the other who took up an opportunity overseas to develop.

    Employers want to hire Bermudians.

    Employers hiring Bermudians is easier and more benefical in the long run.

    Employers have spend countless millions of education scholarships, on supporting industry supporting educational facilities through money and time, given internships, guidance and more for the benefit of Bermudians.

    The PLP want you to believe business do nothing for Bermudians.

    • imyourGOD says:

      How do you FAIL an online test????? Thats why he wasnt hired….he was ‘not to bright’

  5. sswhite says:

    And now they want to dumb down our children by taking away any visual stimulus in their class rooms…tell me fellow Bermudians white, black or otherwise, what did your classroom walls look like when you were young? Pale shades of lilac? Faded canary yellow? I invite you to tour Saltus, MSA or Warwick Academy…BHS also wwn they have their open houses…look to see if their classrooms are modeled after this new “experts” advice? They are not.

    At first I didn’t buy into the talk of the wickedness of their plans but I cannot see how they are doing anything but paving the way for a two class society – the wealthy money changers and the indebted servants to service them.

  6. hmmm says:

    Further : So we should consider how many employed Bermudians got their job ahead of an ex-pat.

    2 divided by that number shows you a very different reality. One which the PLP never seem to refer too.

  7. Jackie Chan says:

    That hotel test is designed to determine your suitability to either the front or back of the house. Have you never heard that “It’s your ATTITUDE, that will determine your ALTITUDE”. The test is designed to figure out how you will respond to various circumstances. All the qualifications in the world won’t fix attitude.

    I don’t know the individuals Mr. Burgess refers to, and certainly they deserve to be able to get a job in their homeland, but we still have to be able to do the job, which is not simply the assignment but doing it with a smile on your face! We need to stop feeding people with the belief that it’s Minister Fahy issuing work permits, why they can’t get work – it’s simply not true. It’s only when we direct people to face their short comings, that they are empowered to address their issue and succeed. Just because we lost sight of this core value, doesn’t mean we can’t get it back, but telling people it’s someone else’s fault takes all the control from them and makes them feel helpless.

    • Portia says:

      Jackie, the individual apparently had decades of experience in his field, so at what point do you decide that he is not “able to do the job”? I guess that person was sitting motionless in a corner all those years, and never did anything or learned anything about the industry. And why are you making negative assumpions about the attitude of the person and his “short-comings” when you don’t even know them? It just sounds like a cop-out to me to avoid dealing with the issue that this person may have been unfairly treated.

      • A Better Bermuda says:

        OR…the reality probably was that the person wasn’t know as being a great, reliable employee and they’d be stuck not able to get rid of them if things didn’t turn out. Sorry but a good, qualified Bermudian will always be chosen over the expense and hassle of bring in an expat

      • LiarLiar says:

        But Portia you are no different than the poster above in terms of your assumptions.

        You don’t know the full details of these individuals or their circumstances or the reasons behind them being unemployed and thus are making your assumptions (i.e. cop put) based on a very strange and vague press release from a politician who has an interest in riling up emotions against the governing Party with such stories.

        I am not saying the stories are false or are true. I am just looking at the source.

        I am sure (going off of your past posts) that if any OBA member issued such a press release based on anonymous stories and the like you would demand some sort of proof.

      • joank says:

        Has anyone thought that the individuals MAY have bad reputations, bad attitudes and a sense of entitlement/arrogance? even with many years experience? Bermuda is very small and you have to be careful of the bridges you burn along the way in life; it isn’t always about just being a Bermudian. Are you a good worker, do you have good work ethics, are you willing to put extra time and effort in all that you do? Are you asking for far too much money? etc. etc.

      • Ian Hunter says:

        Apparently you are saying that everyone else has to take the test and pass it to get the job BUT Bermudians don’t have to. You have to be kidding me.

      • Creamy says:

        I am Bermudian and was passed over once for a job. By another Bermudian of a race other than my own. Based, I assumed, on experience and job suitability.
        Funny thing is, I took responsibility for it myself, rather than blaming others.

  8. fafaf says:

    They failed the test – I don’t understand this position. Mr Burgess can you expand on this please?

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      It’s clear…it’s the OBA’s fault that the two people failed the test and should be hired even though the have been proven to be unqualified. Companies should give work to Bermudian’s simply because they are entitled. That’s what Derrick is saying

    • Portia says:

      And how many foreign workers would fail a basic English test if you gave it to them? Based on what I have seen and heard, a great many, I would wager.

      • Here we Go again says:

        The Same can be said with locals as well. Have you even listened to how half of us speak???

      • LiarLiar says:

        Good thing the new work permit policy requires an english proficiency test tehn I guess.

        You have to at least give the OBA credit for that…at least…right?

      • Christopher James says:

        …and this is relevant how?

      • Sickofantz says:

        So then they wouldn’t get the job either! Your point is?

      • Creamy says:

        You would “wager”? I have never heard a Bermudian use that term. Are you a paid foreign blogger?

      • Thanks says:

        It says on there permits they must speek/write english . maybe Bermuda Immigation should test more of them and deal with them accordingly.

  9. Bermewjan says:

    We are looking at this problem from the wrong perspective. Bleating isn’t the answer, it never has been and never will be. The simple fact is that an employer is always going to choose an indentured non-Bermudian work permit holder over a free-to-choose when and where they work Bermudian. Employers are not likely to hire Bermudians who are free to come and go as they choose and can even set up in competition, when the alternative is to hire an indentured work permit holder who is completely subject to their whims and who they can kick off the island whenever they like or demand that they work all the hours the employer’s whims demand.

    The irony is that while we have the PLP and the BIU pushing for stronger, stricter work permit laws, the truth is that they are just giving employers even less of an incentive to hire Bermudians. Those very same work permits that the PLP/BIU are pushing for give employers a greater opportunity to control and demand more from those work permit holders than they could ever ask from Bermudians. But then again, the PLP/BIU tend to be lead by employers who already know this fact, so no surprise there.

    The only way to remove this barrier for Bermudians is to level the playing field by giving work permit holders stronger human and employment rights to the point that the “indentured” aspect of hiring non-Bermudians no longer benefits employers. In that manner, they flippant response that “it is cheaper to hire Bermudians” may actually then be true, in real terms.

    The problem is that it is not workers that lead and of the political groups, but employers who benefit greatly from the status quo, so change is unlikely to come anytime soon.

  10. Alex says:

    This is very true. Bermudians aren’t being given the opportunity. There needs to be better immigration controls. Some sort of checks and balances system. These companies continue to exploit immigration loopholes. I know personally at my place of employment that foreign individuals are being chosen for positions before they are being advertised in the newspaper. This means regardless of who applies, they will not be chosen. This cannot be allowed to continue.

    • It’s people like yourself that needs to / must report what it is you “know” otherwise it is only “lip service: :-( Sad yes, but true.

    • newidea says:

      but this is a global market? I must ask why not?

      if I am a painter in london I have to compete with thousands of people to paint a house. If I am not good enough I dont get the work.

      protectionist attitudes are what destroys economies – not makes them.

      • Alex says:

        Maybe you did not read my comment correctly. These foreigners are chosen before the job it is even advertised. This means the local talent is not being considered regardless if they can do the job. I agree about finding the best working but the Bermudians are being scratched off the list before even handing in their application.

        • 32n64w says:

          “These foreigners are chosen before the job it is even advertised”

          This is a sweeping and untrue generalization.

          • Edmund Spenser says:

            Not necessarily, if Alex was trying to get a professional level position in an Insurance company than positions usually are filled before they get posted on Bermuda boards. These are for two very good reasons.

            1. The posting is required for work permit renewal requirements and the expat is already in place.
            2. Professional positions are generally advertised on specialized international job boards and filled from there.

            For good or bad, there is a strong incentive to not mess-up an in place team so overcoming situation 1 is not impossible but you need to do your homework and make sure you can specifically address all the requirements in the job posting.

            For situation 2, as a Bermudian you have to do your homework again and find out what international job boards are used for the profession you are in. You can’t wait for the position to be posted in Bermuda, you have to find and use the same resources as other professionals in your field.

            Bermuda is a small place, if you are looking for a specialized position the search can take some time.

        • newidea says:

          But that is illegal – its not the govenrments fault. Its up to you to report it – not whinge about it like the OBA are breaking policy when its in fact your unscrupilous employer

      • QB says:

        Your logic is faulty because it is not the painter /business that has competition as in London- they are Bermudian owned- on the contrary they enjoy their boats and vacations and hobbies. It is the employee Bermudian who competes with the non Bermudian employee man who takes his earnings and enjoys a good standard of living in a much less expensive domicile. He doesn’t’ stay in London/ as you say.

    • WillSee says:

      Then you should report them to immigration!
      Because you work there does not make you the company
      human resources expert.

    • Ian Hunter says:

      If you know something say something. Don’t just complain without hard facts. Companies that do this will stop when a few have been taken to court. If you are not ready to name them, you are as much of the problem as the companies.

  11. Joonya says:

    Stop s*** stirring Derrick. We know your only intention is to gain political ground. You want to talk about “passing over” Bermudians.. how about when you lot passed over an entire future generation with the debt you racked up! Standing Strong for WHO!? You lot were only standing strong for yourselves and your supporters, despite the Opposition at the time warning you to curb your spending habits.

  12. bluebird says:

    @bermewjan,
    I will have to remind you again of the “GOLDEN RULE”"
    He whom has the GOLD RULES”"
    An Employer wants someone WHO WANTS TO WORK,not some one who wants to attend.
    CHASE AWAY the 10,000 work permit holders and how would YOU and BURGESS
    live ???? As we would not have an ECCONOMY.???? Neither of you would be able to LIVE OFF THE TAX PAYER,you might even have to work.
    Burgess would even be able to go back to his old job as pool bartender

    • Bermewjan says:

      @bluebird

      I have now read your comment a couple of times. As it makes absolutely no sense, I see no point in responding to it directly. Perhaps you might consider the point you wish to make before typing, that way you may not come across as spouting nonsense.

  13. Joey-Bag-O'Doughnuts says:

    Not too many Bermudians nowadys or even young foreigners are willing to be bent over day in and day out planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables, the so-called menial jobs. Even construction work out in the sun but pays a little better. Why do you think some business owners asked for outside help in the first place? I have an uncle that owned a landscaping company and couldn’t get any Bermudian to apply for the job.

    So, that the chips fall where they may. There are many able bodied people who simply will not apply for a job that is not appealing to him and it doesn’t matter if it’s back breaking work or easy but very low paying jobs.

    • Portia says:

      But that is not the issue here. The minister is not talking about foreign workers being brought in to do jobs that Bermudians WON’T apply for. If no Bermudians are applying for those types of jobs, so be it. But we are talking about experienced, qualified Bermudians who HAVE applied for jobs, and are still being overlooked – which is not the same thing you are talking about.

      • Christopher James says:

        Yes Portia, after failing the entrance test. You conveniently left that out.

        I remember failing an exam once, but instead of moaning about it, I studied and retook the test – and passed. people want a free ride today. They are entirely to blame for their own failures but want to blame someone else. Pathetic is what it is.

  14. Christopher James says:

    Some Bermudians have to get over themselves and get rid of this feeling that they are ‘spashul’.

    Any Bermudian who really wants a job can find one. If you cannot find one, you are simply not trying hard enough.

    Stop moaning and get out there.

    “I can’t work May 24th an Cop Metch. An I don’t do veekens, and I can’t always make toim” won’t cut it in today’s economy.

    Guess you shouldn’t have wasted all your money on those wheels.

    • Jack straw says:

      Christopher. This rhetoric you’re spewing is getting old. You have to understand that here in Bermuda,in times like these ( high unemployment), it’s not always a matter of applying and chances are you will be employed. In many cases it’s all about who you know. Especially in the blue collar world.

      • Christopher James says:

        Jack Straw: it always was so. That is why my comment is valid. Bermudians need to stop moaning and pound the pavement. Blaming other people on ones problems is spewing old rhetoric. It is a new game now – especially in the blue collar world.

        • Bermewjan says:

          Christopher, your comments suggest you have the benefit of a life with a closed perspective. While you may wish to continue to reiterate your microcosmic perspective, there are plenty of others of us living in Bermuda, who have a somewhat different view and perspective based on our knowledge and personal experiences. Perhaps you may wish to consider them rather than typing in such a dismissive manner and “telling” us what Bermudians should do.

          • Christopher James says:

            The benefit of a a life with a closed perspective.

            Now that’s a phrase you don’t aften hear – and for good reason.

            Best of luck with your job hunt.

    • Alex says:

      Wow. You sound so entitled. I am a recent college grad with a degree in insurance and could not find work for almost 2 years. This included applying for all types of jobs from office cleaner, laundry at Fairmount to risk management and banking analyst positions. If you can say that those without work are not “trying hard enough” you do not know the struggle of this economy. There already very few positions available in the country without these companies passing over those who are qualified.

      • A Better Bermuda says:

        Seriously? I find that hard to believe because I didn’t things had gotten quite that bad. Good on your for sticking to it and finding something. This situation is very sad indeed

        • PBanks says:

          Alex is absolutely right. Things have been rough for many a person, of various ages and levels of skill, in recent years. Even with the NTB, various hotel fairs and ol’fashioned word-of-mouth, opportunities for employment have been limited.

          Yet there seems to be in some quarters a distinct lack of empathy and understanding, instead the broad sweeping brush of ‘not trying hard enough’ gets cast over people.

          • A Better Bermuda says:

            Unfortunately the majority of our unemployment problem is self induced because our policies drove away a lot of Companies and their employees and we are now seeing the negative impacts of those policies

      • weclom says:

        welcome to the real world. guess what? there are millions like you worldwide. a degree does not give you entitlement and in a recession all bets are off

    • QB says:

      How about: It’s hard to work for no sick pay, no vacation and no pay whenever work is slow. Mr. James, do you get vacation days from your employer? I have a friend who worked for two companies who both did not offer these basics of employment. One also hired only Portuguese masons and Bermudians were laborers. As soon a he left, he completed a beautiful masonry job with his own tools. You are out of touch and stereotyping.

      • Christopher James says:

        Everyone has a hard luck story. Yes QB I have been in that situation. Yes Alex it is tough. But people who moan instead of doing something are doing themsleves no favours. I am not ‘entitled’ as you say Alex. I have failed many many times but got back up and did something about it blaming nobody else. So you couldn’t get a big time job first time out – JOIN THE CLUB. Life is tough.

        Fact is: You yourself are responsible for your own situation. Nobody ever gave me anything – in order to succeed I had to fall down and get up many times. If it came easy – I wouldn’t appreciate it. Neither would you.

        Now, you can either sit and moan – or try to improve your situation. Best of luck to both of you.

        • Lorraine says:

          My situation is fine for me, thank you. However, I am speaking for many who have not had the good public education and experiences which I have had to help myself. Mr. James, you propose not moaning but I am unsure what makes my comments moaning and yours not. Your points are not invalid; we all know people like those you speak of but at the same time, it is not a matter of moaning at everyone to get back up after being knocked down or just shut up and try harder to harvest the plantation!

        • Bermewjan says:

          How simple you make it sound. Perhaps you think your “just go for it” rallying cry will allow people who have been struggling for years to overcome the inequalities that exist in the Bermuda employment market. Are you Bermudian? Do you even have the slightest idea of what you are so cavalierly commenting on?

          Perhaps you may wish to reconsider your Ostrich “head in the sand” approach to this issue. While you clearly have no relevant experience of the issue, maybe adopting the view that there is “no smoke without fire”, would give you a better starting point for understanding the problem.

  15. Rhonnie aka Blue Familiar says:

    On their face, these two scenarios sound concerning, but without more indepth information on the positions in questions, and the applicants, it’s hard to judge one way or another.

    Just being Bermudian is not enough. Nor is having a lot of experience. Nor is being fully qualified. Companies look for other things as well, and they have every right to.

    The notion, however, that a company would choose a non-Bermudian over a Bermudian for no other reason than because they were not Bermudian is ludicrous. It benefits companies to hire Bermudians as it is actually less expensive and less complicated for them to do so.

    That said, however, I am certain there are some employers out there who would be that daft. Just not nearly as many as people might like to believe.

    • imyourGOD says:

      More information please!!! From the minister…. please explain how he could not finish / pass the online test. Perhaps he could not read???? Or understand concepts??? Making him a poor work prospect. And what exactly was his decades of experience in ….. DECADES and still couldnt be hired. PLEASE!!!!!!

  16. Onion says:

    Work Permits 2001: 11,600
    Work Permits 2011: 17,500

    Flood gates indeed. Reality has an anti-PLP bias.

    • Christopher James says:

      Where you get these figures? 17,500? Seriously? you been drinkin de tea?

  17. Jackie Chan says:

    I do suspect that there are employers out there that have lost faith in Bermudian manpower. We have to accept that during the hay days, we could pick, choose, abuse and refuse jobs as there was more out there – but we must accept that those days are gone. We are now in the position of having to convince employers that we are prepared to go the extra mile, and that we don’t take our jobs for granted. It’s actually much easier to get a job when you are employed than when you are not. Employers will logically take it that the best Bermudians stay employed. When you are un-employed you are automatically on the back foot – you’ve got to be creative, determined, committed and keep trying. We need to teach Bermudians how to do this, cause they’ve never had to do it before.

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      Jackie Chan, I couldn’t agree with you more. For every story like these 2 I can tell you about 10 going the other way, where employees didn’t turn up for work, were rude and belligerent, called in sick all the time, came in high. Luckily this is the exception but it still a reality we have to accept and change if we are going to improve our lot in life

    • QB says:

      Yes we do need to teach them. Why can’t we manage an education system well so we can do this!

  18. DUH says:

    so lets get this clear…

    someone with DECADES of experience in the industry FAILED a Hotel test… and a complaint is made that they were overlooked in the favor of a foreigner when no foreigner was hired in this specific case…

  19. Unbelievable says:

    I’m sorry but the PLP are just trying to score political points. These plain 100% cheap shots at the OBA. They serve no purpose at all.

    The Minister has corrected the PLP ONCE AGAIN! Fahy is no slouch, PLP.

    Hey Derrick, if you really want to help anyone without a job why don’t you take them to the Jobs Board as the Minister indicated? Its cuz it’s all about party first for you aint it?

  20. Eager says:

    While I am not in a position to speak for all, I do share the sentiments of Mr. Burgess and for the 2 cases he speaks of. I do realize these companies are private and can hire who they wish, but I must say there are some awesome and hungry young Bermudians who are keen to learn and go to task for their employers, if given the chance. I find it a shame that educated and qualified Bermudians cannot acquire a job they want. I am a qualified young Bermudian with a job however, in life we must grow and learn different things and am so keen to do so. Everyday I come to work, bust myself and produce excellent work, which is documented and signed off by managers. Being ready to take my career to the next level, I find myself hitting a wall, because *ta-da*, I don’t have the required work experience. Sometimes, I wish I could work for free so I can show them what kind of employee they will be getting. But really should we have to beg and schmooze just to get there?

    What I want to know is, “What assurance are Bermudians getting from Immigration/Workforce Development that a foreigner with the same qualification can do a better job than a Bermudian?” What if the employer is setting the job description to a level that only the incumbent foreigner can meet? Just so that foreigner can stay in Bermuda?”

    We have so many special young Bermudians doing so much greatness, yet there are so many awaiting just to be given the opportunity.

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      I can understand your frustration and I agree that there are some incredibly talented young people out there who can’t find job, or who can’t find advancement when they want it. It’s a sad situation, but it’s not uncommon elsewhere in the world as well.

      As for advancement, well, just because you’re ready to move up, doesn’t mean that others agree with your assessment, or that there are opportunities when you want there to be. It’s been like that for every generation, believe it or not. Patience, perserverance and yes, schmooze. Don’t beg, you should never have to beg. Ever. But schmoozing aka networking is necessary.

      Volunteer, meet new people, talk to anyone and everyone about your skills and interests. It can pay off. Someone may hear of something and mention they know the perfect person to fill it… you.

      Oh, and talk to your managers about what you could do to learn more, or take on more responsibility. You just have to be careful to balance between learning new skills and getting more experience under your belt, and being taken (intentionally or not) advantage of.

  21. Politricks says:

    If true and if Mr. Brugess truly cared then he would have referred them to the Dept. of Immigration instead of running to the press as a means to try and politcize this issue.

    From my viewpoint it appears that Mr. Burgess is more than ready to use the unfortunate circumstances of a several citizens to try and win brownie points with the electorate.

    I imagine he didn’t even convey to these individuals their options within the Dept. of Immigration or Workforce Development. Instead he ran to the media as his political Party and aspirations are that much more important than the employment status of these people.

  22. Sky Pilot says:

    you only have to look about you and you can see MANY non Bermudians working jobs that locals can do…
    and I’m not talking about spouses from abroad!

    • Creamy says:

      How can you tell just by looking at them who is or is not a Bermudian or a spouse? Do they wear badges?

    • Family Man says:

      ‘Can do’ and ‘will do’ are not always the same thing.

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      Do you know if any Bermudas actually applied for their job?

  23. Alvin Williams says:

    That’s why when this government’s finance minister states that with the new deal which will allow this Canadian company to develop a new airport and that will mean jobs for Bermudians; it is not believe because there is a lot of Bermudian employers who do their best not to hire Bermudians. It is true that under the former PLP government the flood gates were open that allowed a flood of migrant workers into the country. That was partly due to full employment for Bermudians and an expanding over heated economy.Add to that the reluctance of some in the PLP government to really rock the boat for fear they would get the blame for a declining economy and the irony was they still got the blame. Well those days are gone and the people are not going to tolerate any government that does not put Bermudian interests first. This time the PLP will return to it’s political and social roots for now the people will not expect anything less.

  24. Christopher James says:

    If there really is a case to answer, then I certainly hope Burgess reports the names of the people involved to immigration and that this case is settled, and the people who have broken the law are properly dealt with to the full extent of the law.

    On the other hand, if this is just another exaggerated piece of PLP BS to further their pointless campaign to discredit the OBA, and is based upon false information dreamed up by unemployable persons and desperate politicians – then I’d expect nothing further to happen.

    My money is on scenario #2.

    Prove us wrong Mr Burgess. I’m not holding my breath. The silence will be deafening I’m sure.

    • Bermewjan says:

      Or alternatively the government could actually enact some legislation to level the playing field so that we no longer have to have such pointless tug-of-war debates where many are simply unwilling to consider the problem from another’s perspective and self-righteously spout nonsense in the belief that they are imparting some great wisdom!

  25. rene says:

    Bermuda can not compete with the world economy. Just like America has trade restrictions with other countries Bermuda needs to have labour restrictions with other countries. No one blames America when they limit the number of vehicles China can sell in America. No one says the American cars are inferior or lack quality . However here in Bermuda people generalize and say the Bermudian employee must be inferior because xyz and failed a test. Why don’t Bermudian s support their own country and people. Instead of supporting Bermudian s people just want to blame the Bermudian. It is said the portugese community has been so successful in Bermuda because they work together supporting each other mates get together to help you build your house. So why do Bermudian s bash Bermudian s apparently trying to be productive members of society. I just dont understand all the negativity and neither do I support companies using job description s that only a handful of employees could fulfill in a global market never mind the infinitesimal small puddle Bermudian s live in. Wake up people Bermuda will get devoured by the global resources and stop blaming Bermudians

    • Girl on Fire says:

      As a Bermudian who can and does compete in the global market, I disagree with your statement. Many Bermudians in many different fields are able to rise to a world class standard. We have musicians, artists, actors, hotel managers, insurance whizzes, etc. who engage and succeed on a world stage. I am not unique – we can certainly compete with the world economy. And frankly, that should be the expectation. Why wouldn’t you want to be the best?

    • Christopher James says:

      Hey rene, would you be happy riding with a bus driver who failed the test, an airline pilot who failed? How about an electrician working on your house – who failed the test?

      I mean what so important about a test right? I mean if someone works on the brakes on your car – does he really need to pass a test?

      YOU BET!!!!

  26. Billy Mays says:

    It is soooooooooooooooo much cheaper and easier to hire Bermudians than expats. To believe that businesses go out of their way to go to the expense and trouble of hiring expats when qualified, capable Bermudians are available to do the job is idiotic. The fact is that this is a very small island, with a very small pool of potential employees available for any given job. Some of these jobs require specific experience and qualifications that simply don’t exist yet here.
    So, Bermudians can continue to blame others for their perceived lack of opportunity, or they can look in the mirror, and decide to start down the path that gets them the skills and experience necessary to get those jobs. There are many role models to be seen across all of the industries that exist here.
    Clearly, the plp prefers to blame others for their own shortcomings and perceived (if not fabricated), lack of opportunity, creating an ethic of entitlement, petulance and laziness among too many of their minions. They give the many, many clever, hard-working Bermudians a bad name.

  27. X says:

    Can someone tell me why a company might turn down a suitable Bermudian over the cost and hassle of an equally suitable non-Bermudian requiring a work permit. Might it just be that … perish the thought, the Bermudian might not be suitable for the job??

    Why would the company take an application to the next step just because the applicant is Bermudian, if they FAIL the on line test?

    • Bermewjan says:

      Try reading my first comment in this string. It may help you to understand.