BVI News

Bring back locals living abroad to help rebuild


Opposition member Julian Fraser has called on government to bring back educated British Virgin Islanders living abroad to help rebuild the hurricane-ravaged territory.

Speaking Wednesday night at a public meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall on Virgin Gorda, Fraser said it would be less expensive to bring locals back than to hire outsiders.

“We have skilled Virgin Islanders overseas. Bring them back. It is cheaper.”

“And don’t tell me we don’t have them … the government should know where its people are if they care. Every single one of them, especially in these times [when] scholarships are educating our people,” Fraser said.

At the time, he was addressing the gathering about government’s proposed $721 million Recovery and Development Plan.

According to the plan, significant portions of the funds will be used to pay experts in various areas of recovery.

“We are going to rebuild this country smart, take our time, [even] if it means training our people to do the work. What do they say? Give a man a fish, you feed him for the day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for life,” he said.

He reasoned that outsiders will only direct money away from the territory.

“All these people that they are going to bring, they are going to be buying a lot of materials from overseas,” Fraser reasoned.

The opposition member also complained that locals who travel abroad to receive higher education return home, but too often are unable to find work.

CDB ‘insult’ BVI 

He also pointed to a document from the Caribbean Development Bank which reportedly said the territory was ‘too small and cannot provide the human capital’ needed for the multimillion dollar-rebuilding needed in the territory.

He described that was an insult.

“This is a bank in Barbados telling us we are small, we don’t have capital. How do they know that? I take affront to it.”

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  1. Obvious says:

    “a bank in Barbados telling us we are small, we don’t have capital. How do they know that?” – assumin dey seen pictures…

  2. incredible says:

    what an —–. country with 5,000 belongers and he thinks enough people to rebuild. Go to an old peoples home …

  3. Online Now says:

    What the Territory really needs right now is people who want to be here. They will be the most productive. If that is BV Islanders then great but I imagine if skilled BV Islanders abroad wanted to be back helping/working they would be here.

    Also, it will not be easy (or cheap) to entice people to come here until the infrastructure is fixed.

    • Albion says:

      I think that is right. It is also right to point out that a lot of those skilled BVIslanders abroad fled abroad after Irma. Do we really need people who cut and run and soon as the going gets tough in their home country? If they don’t love their home enough to help rebuild it we are probably better off without them.

      • Theo says:

        Exactly, the BVI should definitely not welcome back with open arms those who cut and run when things got tough. Make sure it’s hard for anyone who just up and left to ever come back.

        The BVI is for those who stuck through the thick and thin even after Irma.

        The last thing we want is those who don’t really want to be here to be here.

        • Foolishness says:

          @Theo, you sound like the Prodigal Son’s older brother, no love coming from you.
          I agree 100% that persons who want to be here will be here. Belongers who lived abroad all their working lives, after they retire in the USA, they come home, and get top jobs…this may seem unfair to some who were here all the time building the country, now others come and reap what they didn’t plant…but they are Belongers and as such, they are entitled (no offence to those to feel otherwise).
          The point is, the government cannot just get up and bring in anybody, people have to want to be here. There are those who went away on scholarships and never came back because the grass is greener on the other side.
          What the politicians need to do is encourage those who are here already, and been here, through thick and thin, to work together instead of spouting off divisive drivel at every opportunity. That sort of language is ignorant and self-serving… be real Mr. magician politician, and stop making things look like they are so when they are not.

    • Hello says:

      We pay to bring all non BV Islanders here to work, so if we offer the same packages to our home, we will come home!

      • Online Now says:

        What is your expertise? I am sure if you are a skilled worker with good experience then these companies would much rather have you as the cost is far lower (work permits are now up to $10k) and it will be quicker to appoint you. As I said earlier, convincing people with no existing affiliation to come here will be difficult and expensive!

        What are you waiting for?

      • Online Now says:

        Also, were you here when all the people were rallying around from overseas countries, volunteering their time for free? Rebuilding schools, clearing the mess etc. As a national living abroad, you should have been one of the first people to volunteer your time and labour.

        Just my opinion.

    • Tired says:

      Let him go tie a rope and pull them them

  4. Sam the man says:

    Frazier ask yourself the question why did they leave in the first place? A better life,conditions,infrastructure, education, social acceptance, cheaper and better housing, reliable electricity, running water, good telecommunications – come on why would they want to return after the mess the “No Direction Party ” has made of things – desperation, you don’t appreciate the hard working expats you already have had and just want to deport them or make life difficult for them…You have a big problem now of your own making…..

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Well Sam you are always attacking the NDP. This is the alternative is it not?

    • Vg2dbone says:

      Obliviously you weren’t at the meeting to understand were this segment about bring skilled locals home. Under the loan agreement it talks about outside labour, material, engineers etc. Out of the 80 plus million for infrastructure only 30 plus million going to roads, another 30 plus million going to all these outside sources.

  5. Come back says:

    Please get rid of the non belonger consultants in Government and maybe there would be jobs to come back to. Start at Tourist Board !!

  6. ...... says:

    This government will only bring them on election day

  7. Hmmm says:

    “Bring back?”..Are they cargo? You don’t just ‘bring back’ people. WTF is wrong with this man?

  8. Rise Above says:

    Yes, this is a constructive idea but sir, BVIslanders abroad are well aware of our plight. Any that wanted to come home to help have made the move already.

    @online now has it right- we need people who want to to help rebuild. Our young adult population is severely underemployed- that’s why Immigration is trying to balance things, but employment is not their job. Why not look for ways to motivate, involve then offer apprenticeship programs to the unemployed? RIGHT NOW.

  9. yes but.. says:

    you have to let the people know that their skills are needed. They would not know whether their skills are needed are not for them to consider whether to make that move.

    I don’t always agree with Fraser but one thing I like..he is always for ‘the people’.

  10. watcher says:

    Are we going to send snatch squads out to kidnap them?

  11. Shark says:

    That is the biggest insult ever.there are many skilled virgin islanders abroad and vety educated to.they not gping to come here and work for the change these people working for.look at some of the homes what people paid tpp dpllar to build.a lot of them were short there is the big racket gping on here some the charging you a $150.00 a day labor when they go to labor department then telling them only $80.00 a day they working for.they are short changing the government big time.

  12. Local says:

    MOST local skilled that are abroad , TRIED to work here and were not hired , or were ill treated .You didn’t want them .. Doctors,nurses, architects and more .

    • Truth Teller says:

      I that wish I could like this comment 1 million times. As a local who was trained abroad and attempted to come back and be of service to my country (prior to the storms), the treatment was bizarre and off-putting. From submitting documentation and not hearing any acknowledgment for months to finally getting an interview where I was indirectly questioned about my lineage, to being qualified for one job but given a different one which I didn’t even apply for….it was a mess.

      But still, I wanted to serve my country. So I accepted employment. What started off as a questionable situation quickly got worse. From supervisors who wouldn’t answer your calls or e-mails, would try to “put you in your place” when you asked questions or tried to discuss ideas for change/improvement, lack of equipment to to do the job, it was not conducive for working or making progress.

      I realize that not ALL work environments in the BVI are like this, but quite a few are; subject to the whims of heads/managers who are not interested in cultivating a healthy and productive working environment. And while this is our country and we would like to be here and contribute, that does not mean that we should be willing to accept any treatment and be cogs in dead end systems “just because.”

  13. Please! says:

    Are you all the same ones who didn’t want us to come back during the good times..we had the wrong last names and our credentials raised up fear in the ones in high places… and after the hurricanes/storm DID NOT want us to contribute to the conversation?

    It is hard pleasing our people from afar and near. I recall having an interview years ago with the then CEO of one of the authorities that shall remain nameless….she was a local, I was a local, she invited me to come and interview, she made me wait for well over an hour before she showed up with some lame excuse that her husband wanted her to stay and talk when it was time for her to get out of bed. Just imagine hearing that BS on an interview? I high tailed it out of there and back to my $200K at that time salary and benefits job back in the U.S. and here I shall remain unless the good Lord inspires me to come home, not a politician who didn’t give a rat’s behind about me when the getting was good for them.

    My aunt was correct when she counseled me not to take any job back in the Tortola because they would use me for my knowledge then discard of me because I didn’t have a common BVI recognized last name although from there. She didn’t live to see it, but I did live to read in the news about the powers that be discarding of the 2 subsequent individuals who were brave enough to take on the job that I interviewed for. Why I am telling all this now….to get the bad minded jealous politicians and locals at the top to stop treating their own kind and expats like crap and stop acting like crabs in a barrel.

    We love and care about the BVI, but the envy, jealousy, rudeness, arrogance and non productive hard to fire or motivate local BVI workers are barriers that will cost BVI society big time. It is also not worth uprooting our children, and for some spouses, just to be faced with resistance and lack of acceptance. I sympathize with expats especially those from other islands that you all talk about like trash in the comments. We don’t want our children exposed to that kind of hatred in the midst of us trying to help them understand and navigate racism in the US, just to bring them home to see it in reverse from their own kind to our own brothers and sisters from else where. So it is not a simple decision for folks to make on the fly, we have to look at it holistically; what is the longer term cost to our children and marriage. People would not mind the inconvenience and sacrifice if it we thought it would be sincerely appreciated and valued.

  14. BVI Resident says:

    As a BVI resident that moved back to the BVI after living abroad for over 25 years, I totally agree with Hon Frazer. However, any BVI Islander returning home should be offered the same package as expats. Also, they should be allow to do their jobs without constant interference from the politicians.

  15. Sam the man says:

    Please! well spoken, until other like yourself are brave enough to share the reality of what goes on things will never improve…many hearts of politicians need to be changed so that its not just them that matters or your last name….People are often promoted not on ability but on who they know and that must change as they are poor at their jobs and just smoke screen stuff or blame others so that they aren’t found out – unfortunately the P——– in my opinion is a master of this….

  16. Ausar says:

    I, for one, have been made aware of the number of Belongers living abroad who wanted to return but that ” not live here long enough or belong here long enough”, kind of attitude ran many outta there

    The attitude towards us who live abroad gonna have to change mannnn or else we’ll hafta continue to live abroad.

  17. local skilled says:

    I tried to work there ( hospital ) .. You only wanted Africans , jamaicans and others . Stop treating locals so bad please.

  18. CW says:

    After the storms I volunteered to bring materials generators and general contractors to rebuild and was told, and I quote “you are a tourist and we don’t want your help. Stick to what you know and spend money”. I was married on VG and have been several times a year for the past decade. I am a tourist. That cares and loves your islands. Your people now? Not so much. Guess I’ll stick to what I know and take my efforts (and $$$$$) someplace where at least people are nice to me for trying.

  19. What do you expect from this man says:

    What else do we expect from this man. Local away wanted to give back to their home a long time, but every time they came they were treated like third class citizens in their own home. The BVI is too political and these citizens are not use to politics interfering in their job performance. The ones in charge need to learn how to be humble and how to treat their own. Working overseas one do not have to worry about being victimized because they minister did not like what you said. As a people in the BVI we need to grow up and everyone will be happy to return back home. It is not about the pay it is about the treatment received while there.

  20. Interesting says:

    What does he mean “bring back locals living abroad”. If they want to return or feel they could return and live comfortable no one would need to “bring them back,” as they would come willingly. Government needs to start treating locals with respect and treat them like they treat others. When they speak they are paid no mind but they tell others what to say and everyone thinks it’s gospel. A lot of locals work hard and others profit because the BVI is about exporting money. Lots of locals want to be home but they are being stepped on with no representation. Companies in the bvi continue to import labour, have locals train them then make the locals redundant and the labor minister could not be bothered. If locals think they would be given a fair chance they will certainly return. I know of qualified locals wanting to return home and their applications are not even acknowledged.

    Perhaps Mr Fraser should start by requesting to see all applications starting at government HR, then hospital and see where he can go from there.

  21. really says:

    Mr Fraser, you need to retire! is this the best possible solution you came up with? very ——-

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