PLP: ‘Bermudian Jobs Continue To Shrink’

May 18, 2017 | 53 Comments

“The OBA’s limited ideas are limiting Bermudian opportunities and as a result Bermudian jobs continue to shrink under the OBA while non-Bermudian jobs continue to grow,” PLP spokesperson for Labour & Workforce Development Rolfe Commissiong said.

Mr Commissiong said, “The OBA announcement of a ‘National Talent Pool’ for Bermudians seeking construction work is not without merit, however it is yet another reminder of the OBA’s failure to keep their promise to create 2,000 jobs for Bermudians; they lack a coherent plan to create jobs and possess a seeming inability to grasp that Bermudians need work in fields beyond construction.

“Job losses are still mounting in international business and among white collar professionals, yet the OBA have exacerbated the problem by raising the cost of doing business in Bermuda, failing to diversify their economy and failing to invest in the training and development of Bermudians.

“Furthermore, they ignored calls from the PLP to produce a workforce development strategy, identify upcoming projects and opportunities for Bermudians such as those related to the America’s Cup.

“This would have allowed Bermudians to know what jobs would be available and for training to be put in place to ensure that our people were prepared to fill those jobs. This was ignored.

“The OBA’s limited ideas are limiting Bermudian opportunities and as a result Bermudian jobs continue to shrink under the OBA while non-Bermudian jobs continue to grow.

“The PLP believes that we must:

  • Develop and implement a National Skills Strategy, with human resource assessment playing a key role in determining the current and future occupational needs of our economy.
  • Introduce an Office of Economic Diversification to take the politics and red tape out of inward investment, introduce new economic pillars and create new opportunities for Bermudians to be hired, trained and advance in careers.
  • Reverse OBA policies that have driven up the cost of doing business in Bermuda, jeopardised jobs and stifled entrepreneurship.
  • Introduce a skills registry as a key component of the National Skills Strategy in order to track the skills that are available on island. Crucially, this register will also serve as a database of Bermudians living and working overseas and their respective skill levels who may be looking for an opportunity to return home in order to take their rightful place in the workforce.

“Bermuda can do better and it will do better with a change of priorities and a change in approach that will come with a change in government.”

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  1. Double S says:

    “Introduce an Office of Economic Diversification to take the politics and red tape out of inward investment, introduce new economic pillars and create new opportunities for Bermudians to be hired, trained and advance in careers.”

    Already in place via the Business Development Association.

    “Reverse OBA policies that have driven up the cost of doing business in Bermuda, jeopardised jobs and stifled entrepreneurship.”

    So you are going to reduce taxes and thus increase the deficit which has been halved from the $400mn hole the PLP left behind. And given the fact that S&P said directly that a return to massive deficit spending would trigger another downgrade, the PLP will make our borrowing costs higher and our debt service burden even greater ($180mn+ as of now per year).

    “Develop and implement a National Skills Strategy, with human resource assessment playing a key role in determining the current and future occupational needs of our economy.”

    Already in place within Workforce Development (inc. the registry).

    Any new ideas PLP?

    • Andy says:

      OK, so Rolfe Commissiong is usually completely misinformed but we have to concede that he has a couple of good points, and some really bad ones too.

      Let’s start with the bad ones.

      ” Bermudian jobs continue to shrink under the OBA while non-Bermudian jobs continue to grow” – Really? Based on what evidence and data? Is that a permanent thing or a temporary blip due to America’s Cup. As always, he fails to cite his sources and probably jump to conclusions on bias data.

      “Job losses are still mounting in international business and among white collar professionals” – this is probably true but he fails to mention that this is compliments from the PLP which scared businesses away with anti-IB attitude and unrealistic demands from IB

      Now for the valid points he is making.

      “OBA have exacerbated the problem by raising the cost of doing business in Bermuda, failing to diversify their economy and failing to invest in the training and development of Bermudians.” – This is absolutely true. By significantly increasing payroll taxes, the OBA has done nothing but raise even further the cost of doing business in Bermuda. Even worse than that, instead of cutting expenses to deal with mounting debt the best OBA could come back with is increase payroll taxes. This is completely absurd. The inter-related problem is OBA’s failure to diversify the economy and therefore having the ability to cut civil servant costs by finding them jobs in other diversified industry.

      The problem that both OBA and PLP fail miserably to understand is that in order to diversify the economy you need to be able to attract foreign industries (and yes, workers too) to encourage them to set up shop in Bermuda. This can ONLY be done by liberalizing investment and immigration policies. Neither party has the courage to face their constituents and make them understand that the only way we are going to get a thriving economy is by allowing foreign folks to establish companies here which eventually will hire Bermudians. Furthermore, it’s one thing to attract investors, it is another story when it comes to retain them. The ONLY way we are going to retain them is by liberalizing immigration laws and allowing people who contribute significantly to Bermuda economy to become citizens. Get that into your narrow xenophobic mind. Without that, you will NEVER diversify the economy significantly.

      One policy which is miserably missing from both parties is how to we build a society which recognizes and rewards contributors regardless of their skin color or national origin. How do we give the opportunity to all the foreign talent living in Bermuda to feel like an integral part of the Bermuda society and encourage them to contribute socially, culturally, and economically? Unless effective policies and directives are put in place, we will continue to live in a divided society which does nothing but negate all the wonderful things we can all achieve by working together as one people regardless of skin color or national origin.

      I am looking forward to seeing tangible, realistic and effective proposals being put forward by both parties.

      • Sickofantz says:

        The problem Andy is that Bermuda must address the debt. numerous experts have come here and concluded that growth and austerity are not enough we also have to increase taxation, and this has been done through payroll tax. You see the previous government built up an enormous debt that is taking up 18 cents in every dollar that the government brings in. If foreign companies are out off by that then they are probably the kind of fly by night organisations we don’t need here. I totally agree with your last 2 paragraphs.

        • Andy says:

          Absolutely false and completely the wrong approach. You may have drank the KoolAid of the absurd arguments OBA is making but it shows complete incompetence of the Finance Minister. Every businesses in the world would love to increase their prices when they are in financial difficulty but get what happens if you do that? You will lose customers and further aggravate your financial problems. Ask every CEO and they will tell you the best way to resolve financial problems is by cutting expenses and implementing austerity measures. Has OBA done that? NO! I understand they inherited the problem from PLP but they needed to do a better job at cutting expenses and they failed miserably. Instead they take the most idiotic approach of increasing payroll taxes and putting greater financial burden on businesses in times of mediocre economic conditions. If you want a good example of a responsible smart way of dealing with debt, look at Cayman, the perfect evidence of cutting expenses and going from deep in the red to now operating in a surplus position. To further aggravate the problem, OBA has done very little to diversify the economy and therefore increase job opportunities in Bermuda. With more jobs they could have transferred some of the civil servants out into those new jobs and cut part of their expenses. I am not saying PLP was better, in fact they were horrible, but OBA was supposed to be changing things and they failed.

  2. Warlord says:

    That’s all you got.The PLP are really grasping at straws now.I have to much work right now and have to turn it down.

  3. More hot air says:

    Please reference to facts and/or 3rd party report!!!

    PLP like to just say things and pull numbers from thin air

  4. wahoo says:

    Seems like a damning diatribe until you start thinking about little details like facts and figures to back up complaints and you begin to wonder “How would you make that work?”. There is no overnight fix to our problem – heck three terms in government did not get it right for the plp but now we need to vote them in again so that in 2025 we will be told what the master plan is? I think I will stick with the movers and doers in the OBA rather than with Mr. Commissiong and his team who prefer to STAND and wait for things to happen.

    • wahoo says:

      Team???? Is that what I said? Politically correct – I know – I know. I was right though wasn’t I?

  5. goneaway says:

    Mr. B R need to go back to Somerset/

  6. Unbelievable says:

    The beginning of the PLP trying to pour cold water on the America’s Cup starts here.

    I was up in Dockyard today for several hours working and there were all kinds of Bermudian workers up there. There were also a lot of expertise jobs that Bermudians probably couldn’t fill. The amount of work that has gone into refurbishing dockyard is huge. We are very lucky.

    • Rach says:

      Temporary jobs, those are all temporary. If we cant have stable jobs, then there is still a problem

  7. Mary says:

    after nine disastrous years now they got it figured out???? …..smmh please

  8. Ringmaster says:

    Nothing in the above article or list of PLP beliefs gives one suggestion of how the PLP will increase jobs. No suggestions of what industries or businesses the PLP would create or encourage. “Introduce new economic pillars”. Great, what? Just lots of warm and fuzzy sounding words.

    • Rach says:

      The bullet points…list the steps…the PLP wants to take…they may not be concrete but they’re THERE and they’ll be more concrete when the PLP can implement action

    • Jony Mighton says:

      Honestly as long as its not the OBA I want it…. http://bernews.com/2017/05/plp-oba-doubled-debt-lost-2000-jobs/

      • Ringmaster says:

        @Rach. The PLP were the Government from 1998 to 2012. Please name one extra pillar of the economy the created. I’ll help you – not one. In 2017 they still have not one pillar they can name. All they can say is elect us under our “plan” for 2025. Unemployed Bermudians can’t wait until 2025. At least the OBA for all their faults have reversed the down trend and started to get Bermuda back on track.

  9. Onionjuice says:

    IF the PLP CAN PROVIDE JOBS/ OR DO BETTER WHY DONT THEY GET THE JOBS FOR THE PEOPLE. ALL OVER THE WORLD THERE IS UNEMPLOYMENT AND JOB LOSSES EVERYDAY. I DO NOT THINK THE PLP COULD FIND TEN JOBS FOR PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED

    • Rach says:

      Literally they listed the steps needed to help improve job growth. Sure people are going to lose jobs, but we shouldn’t settle. Improvement is necessary

    • Jony Mighton says:

      Yeah why can’t they be more like the OBA and lose jobs for local Bermudans and sell passports!

    • NeilDerek says:

      At least bother reading the article LOL. Things such as the skill registry will help us find jobs!

  10. Fraud Squad says:

    If you do not have a job today, maybe not the job you want, but nonetheless at least a job its likely that you haven’t tried very hard, you are too picky or just haven’t taken advantage of the current opportunities to start you own small business. I know people that selling fishing, making crafts, snow cones, food lemonade, and all sorts of stuff. I know people doing graphic design work that have been working late every night for the last few months. Other driving mini buses. What does it cost to get your taxi license? Very little.

    Sorry Rolfe, but we just don’t buy this nonsense and this is the kind of BS that unfortunately some listen to and believe.

    • inna says:

      The ones he is pandering to are the ones who stand behind the PLP with their hands out!

      • Anthony Fubler says:

        Low life thinking is the great devide, so little substance to your approach, I clearly see why they say 2 bermuda’s

        I get 2 call’s a week for jobs, its not easy. There are those who are looking for work.

        It’s not because they are not looking, our situation is serious, or maybe you head is in the here and now “your bucket of thoughts” while hundreds / thousands are out of work.

        If your not part of the solution, you are part of the problem :(

        -

  11. Lois Frederick says:

    Throwing shade again. Whatever. On the ground it is clearly obvious conditions are improving on this island from where the plp left us at the end of 2012. Remember?

  12. NCM says:

    “Limited ideas”? You have to be joking! Bermuda is on the up and up, jobs and opportunity available for those who want them.

    And what OBA policies have driven up the cost of doing business?

    More hot air from the UBP/PLP. Take a back seat and enjoy the show.

  13. Trump supporter says:

    YAAAAWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNN!

  14. Cowpoly says:

    Surely Rolfe you had one friend in the PLP/Brown camp that would of told you this was not a good article to write….
    What you are missing is the blatant fact that the OBA are creating jobs and your party is destroying them. That’s why your article is not worthy..

    • NeilDerek says:

      The OBA is destroying jobs by giving all of the high skilled labour to non-Bermudians. Wake up!

      • bdaboy says:

        lol…what skills?
        Sitting on a wall is not a “high skill”

  15. puzzled says:

    If people keep leaving and you sell a sixpack of paper cups a week jobs will dwindle.

    Communist.
    All the same. Who you work for Rolf? And you get paid by the “-’OBA….

  16. Rasta says:

    More BS from Rolf.

  17. Spit Bouy says:

    “Bermuda can do better and it will do better with a change of priorities and a change in approach that will come with a change in government.” LOLOLOLOLOL

    Thanks for the laugh Rolfe, you lot couldn’t make me a sandwich let alone make real changes that would see an upward curve in the economy and employment. The plp will likely go on a borrow and spend campaign with massive overruns on ‘infrastructure development’ all while telling everyone that its for the peoples benefit. You’ll likely put us into so much debt that we’d be decades getting out of… oh err you already did that, my bad, sorry mate. FAIL!

  18. Wentin says:

    Rolfe, give it a break, the eyes of the world are on us.

    And how hard was it for you to not mention race? Pretty hard I imagine.

  19. Justin says:

    Are the PLP hiring?

  20. Steve thomson says:

    The single biggest contributor to job losses in Bermuda during the last decade was the PLP’s ill conceived “term limits” legislation that literally exported hundreds if not thousands of people that actually created employment for Bermudians.
    So sick of these arm chair critics like Rolfe that actually created the problem.
    Hopefully, we won’t return to that nightmare of a government that killed ingenuity and increased our debt burden saddling our children and grand children with a debt that is unsustainable

  21. Imagine that says:

    Wonder where there 2025 plan is … still thinking of something to decieve us.

  22. mark says:

    We truly are living in a Trump world. Everything that has come out from the PLP has been blatant lies or as they would say, “alternative facts”

    • Rach says:

      The only person saying things are “alternative facts” here are you and the OBA supporters so who sounds more like Trump?

  23. Bullseye says:

    “they ignored calls from the PLP to produce a workforce development strategy, identify upcoming projects and opportunities for Bermudians such as those related to the America’s Cup.”

    Where is the PLP’s workforce development strategy? Why can’t they propose anything instead of just pointing fingers and throwing stones? Are the PLP reps getting paid to contribute to a better Bermuda, or were they just elected to throw stones?

    “Introduce an Office of Economic Diversification” Wow. So there are people waiting on the sidelines with the secret to Economic Diversification yet the PLP won’t tell us who they are or where they are until they get elected? Seriously who are these people and what are their ideas? Did they just arrive in Bermuda? What are we waiting for? The PLP are really holding out on us here. Put down the stones and share the secret to a thriving Bermuda economy please. You are getting paid right now.

  24. CT says:

    I agree that costs associated with hiring, especially in the IB sector, have incresed too much. See Payroll Tax increases recently. I have no problem with cutting payroll for lower earnings, and think some payroll tax at the higher earners should shift, in practice, from the IB employer to the IB worker. And I put myself in that category. I have no deductions from payroll and this is standard in IB. I think IB workers should suck a portion of payroll tax up. Legislate it, if necessary, so no IB employer is disadvantaged. The only ones who will be materially worse off are American workers as they have world wide taxation and there is no tax treaty in that regard between us and the US. Then again, American workers in other sectors have this problem already…..

  25. Starting Point says:

    So far the OBA have raised taxes for the wealthy, put the entirety of the suffering on the private sector while continuing to protect the bloated civil service……

    You would think the PLP would be loving the OBA….

    difference is of course they have also seen massive infrastructure development, hotels, airports, roads, AC project. Restored the confidence of the lenders through smart business practices, seen a huge increase in Bermuda Collage graduates, implemented PATI, implementing Casinos legislation, implementing SAGE recommendations…

    The OBA and PLP often say the same thing, the difference is the OBA actually does something.

  26. Jony Mighton says:

    What is with these idiots in the comments? The PLP gives you an easy to understand comprehensive plan and these fools just go around yelling “where is your plan PLP!?” like read the article please.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Please explain “the plan”. How many jobs and what type, how much money will be generated, how much tax to help pay down the debt. There is nothing, apart from the smoke and mirrors you seem to see.

  27. Rasta says:

    Rolf and his team cannot create jobs for any Bermudians.

  28. DarkStar says:

    Twisted lies is what it is—if you want to work and have any sort of skill there is so much work on this island right now you would be a serious lame duck not to be able to find work—–There is plenty of work for people who stay off their cell phones, show up on time, pay attention, do a great job at what they are being paid to do and do it with a great attitude! Seriously the issue is a work ethnic which you can not ask the gov’t to provide or anybody else-it is first an individual problem and second a community problem-the individual has to want to have a good work ethnic and the community has to stop accepting that a poor work ethnic is the norm. The PLP killed public education way before the OBA came to power-they wanted to be like the Caribbean—a ton of uneducated unskilled people who they can pull lie after lie after lie on. When you don’t think for yourself you will believe any BS a politician makes sound good.
    I love how Burt and the PLP are now saying that the current gov’t should have invested in schools instead of creating jobs—without the jobs and money coming in how the hell do you plan on investing in education

  29. I heart 441 says:

    Everyone can’t be pleased, however, OBA are doing their best on getting and retaining jobs on the island.

  30. Nabbajabbadingdongbabydaddy says:

    This about that….rubbish.

  31. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The OBA’s limited ideas are limiting Bermudian opportunities and as a result Bermudian jobs continue to shrink under the OBA while non-Bermudian jobs continue to grow”

    Umm, the Bermuda Department of Statistics says the exact opposite. Who are we to believe, the politician or the mathematicians employed by the Bermuda Government?

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