Craig Cannonier On Refusal Of Work Permits

July 3, 2020

[Updated] “We have to be sensible and not put Bermudian businesses and Bermudian jobs at risk,” OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said in reference to the Government’s refusal of work permits.

Mr Cannonier said, “The Government today [July 3] admitted it had refused work permits without knowing if qualified Bermudians were available to apply for the vacant positions.

“In response to questions in the House, the Minister revealed that since the first curfew was imposed, 159 work permits have been denied.

“The Minister stated that work permits were denied without knowing if there were Bermudians qualified and applying for the positions.

“Among the permits denied were 19 chef de partie, the main cook in the kitchen. How can a restaurant carry on if there are no suitable people to fill these vacancies? This kind of thing could jeopardise Bermudian businesses and Bermudian jobs.

“Three masons were also denied. If we do not have the information on who is trained and available for these jobs, this could shut down the projects and put this business in jeopardy.

“We have to be sensible and not put Bermudian businesses and Bermudian jobs at risk.”

Update 6.05pm: Minister Jason Hayward said, “The Government of Bermuda aims to increase the number of Bermudians employed in Bermuda.

“To that end, I find it unfortunate that some in the community will choose to highlight the very tough decision to deny work permits of non-Bermudians, at a time when thousands of Bermudians are unemployed.”

“The Government is not trying to jeopardise Bermudian businesses or Bermudian jobs as we recognize they are critical factors to achieving economic growth.”

“I have stated publicly on several occasions that if a business is aggrieved by the decisions made, they can file an appeal, and the merits of the appeal will be considered.”

“We are in a new normal, and the Government will continue to protect the interest of Bermudian workers unapologetically.”


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Comments (16)

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  1. BERR says:

    159 refusals, $289.00 per appeal, 45k for the Government…if all appealed

  2. Vortex says:

    Its naïveté and stupidity. Bermuda more than ever needs external employees and employers, and if the Government doesn’t see that, and hides behind ‘unapologetically Bermudian’ then shame on them.

    This is basic economics, and Jason Hayward is not up to the job.

    • No, he is not up for the job. Much to young and inexperienced. One hundred and fifty rejections means 150 vacant apartments as well as the rest of the spending that they would have injected into the economy. Buckle you seat belts the ride is going to be very rough this year and half of next year. Ha maybe longer. I hope when his constituents cannot pay their rent or feed their families he is the first one to assist. I am beyond disgusted……oh well they voted h8m in so deal with it.

    • wide a wake says:

      stop eating at BUZZ people

  3. Payattention says:

    There should be no problem recruiting qualified skilled Bermudian masons as many of them have been unemployed. Well done and thank you to our government for putting Bermudians first!

  4. Bermudians need the Jobs! says:

    If Bermudians are able to fill the jobs, reject the work permits. Isn’t that the law as it currently stands.

    I will take it one step further and before anyone asks I am Bermudian, and all of my immediate family members are currently employed, but many Bermudians are not employed.

    If there are jobs that are currently held by Non-Bermudians and their work permits are going to come due in the next few months, then we need to train our unemployed citizens immediately to fill these jobs. You tell the employer, that the work permit will not be renewed in advance. Ask if the company would like to be provided with names and details of individuals to train. The Bermudian can receive a type of unemployment/retraining wage from the government and this would allow them to shadow the Non-Bermudians at no cost to the company for a few months. The Bermudian learns the job and when the work permit is up,the Bermudian has a full time job. It is an investment by government, in terms of the training wage and an investment by the company in terms of providing on the job training. I would call this, shared sacrifice.

    Alternatively, Bermuda College and Workforce Development can start running training courses. Examples: wait staff, gardeners, nail technicians, housekeepers, nannies, fitness trainer, pool cleaner, hair stylists, ……… Get Bermudians back to work.

    The Government and Entrepreneurs can then concentrate their efforts on attracting new businesses to the Island that hopefully will bring more jobs down the road, and yes, at that point more expat workers because by then the Country will be fully employed!

    • frank says:

      one place that comes to mind is Buzz send those none Bermudian staff back home flights are back

  5. Sandgrownan says:

    And Hayward trotting our the old tired rhetoric. It’s not just chefs, but also accountants.

    And, bear in mind, by the time the renewal goes in all the other requirements have been fulfilled. In other words, this means that the usual idiots in the dept of immigration have been taking the law into their own hands.

    Stupid stupid bermuda.

  6. La Verdad says:

    This is the right thing to do Minister. Let’s give qualified Bermudians the opportunity to fill these jobs. Scrutinize carefully the advertisements to ensure unsavory employers do not inflate the job requirements as is often the case.

  7. saud says:

    Typical…Bermudians are either too lazy to do a menial job…that they’re qualified to do. Or under-educated….too stupid…to do the job advertised.

    If Bermuda was awake 20 years ago she would have started educating its populace, instead, it watched Ireland take our IB…and we cheered, because we have pink sand!

    • Parxgirl215 says:

      No sir. You offend the vast majority of BERMUDIANS when you preface your comment “typical lazy Bermudians”. I see a trained bartender have to work as a casual worker when the three foreign bartenders are full time staff. One of whom has not mastered English and certainly lacks the ability to effectively communicate with Guest and other staff in English.
      I would agree some youngsters are hesitant to work to overtime and some outright refuse to work overtime for straight pay. Hope you are not a work permit holder but then you found like employer who wants foreign workers who are so often exploited. Overtime straight pay. Doing 3 jobs instead of the one on their permit.

  8. Imjustsaying says:

    The question is do you have qualified Bermudians to fill the posts before you go and cancel or deny any permits it is a bloody common sense question and when it comes to this government,common sense is not that common. Do they have a data bank of qualified Bermudians to fill jobs held by foreigners? Answer probably not. Putting the cart before the horse. SMH!

  9. Michael says:

    If most local companies had to depend on lazy and unreliable bermudian workers, than most places will have to close its doors! As hard as it may sound, without these foreign workers in some business no employer could stay afloat. Reject masons and landscapers permits and see how long before employers shuts it doors.

  10. Bermudian says:

    Keep in mind that being Bermudian and qualified isn’t all that goes into hiring a Bermudian. Past working history plays a huge factor as well. No employer is going to gamble on hiring someone with a poor work record and shouldn’t be made to either. Also not everyone is employable for whatever reason. In addition, foreign workers are here with no distractions and their main focus is work. We can deny it all we want but there are Bermudians that have an issue with either working overtime, working out of ordinary hours, not showing up for work etc. This is especially in the construction industry. Most of the best qualified, highly skilled Bermudian masons are employed or own their own business. These days a handyman calls himself a mason when that’s NOT the same thing and you can’t teach masonry in a classroom, sorry! Bottom line is not all who are unemployed are employable, every single country in the world needs foreign workers and are Bermudians are hard working. Work hard, learn, absorb as much information as possible and always leave a job on good terms.

  11. Warrior says:

    Why do? bermudians hired as labourers, work, get first pay cheque and leave. Bermudians do not want to work with or for foreigners. Bermudians many, do not want to start at bottom of ladder, top or nothing. Bermudians get the summeritis… sure many of you know what this is
    So, foreigners will work n stick to the job. Taking jobs, no they are not. They come to gain experience, enjoy the island, pay into our economy, rent property, buy cars and or bikes, shop, make new friends n save for their and their family’s future.

  12. Fisherman says:

    Deny experienced workers yet menial jobs i.e. collecting shopping carts, driving delivery vans and so on yet, overseas workers are permitted when we have seniors and special persons who can collect the carts, sweep up outside the main doors, elevators. Bermudians can drive trucks.