BVI News

BVI losing youths after they complete overseas studies

A section of Tortola. (BVI News photo)

The BVI is losing valuable contributions to its growth and development because many of its youths are not returning to these shores after completing their studies abroad.

This was the indication given by former legislator Dr Kedrick Pickering when he spoke with residents at a political meeting in North Sound, Virgin Gorda last week.

But according to the former Deputy Premier, this can all be changed if a suitably receptive environment is created for youths of the territory to return and thrive.

“We are losing a lot of our young people because they are going away to study and they are not coming back. That’s not good for us,” Dr Pickering stated.

And while stopping short of categorising the issue as a proverbial ‘brain drain’, the former legislator said the territory needs to find ways of ensuring other places are not benefitting from the territory’s youths once they have completed their education.

“We want to benefit from them but we’ve got to create an environment here in the BVI that makes them want to come back home; that makes them feel comfortable and welcome when they come back,” he said.

According to Dr Pickering, youths need to be shown that there is a brighter future that will allow them to build a family once they return home from their studies abroad.

Dr Pickering suggested that one of the solutions to the challenge is to build better public-private partnerships. “We have some of the wealthiest people around us here. We must engage them in ideas on how best to create opportunities,” the former legislator argued.

He further said the current generation is more educated than the previous one and is looking for bigger opportunities as a result of this. “We must create that environment that will ultimately make them want to be here,” he added.


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  1. So... says:

    No more corruption then. These talented youngsters are staying away because they see better opportunity where they are, where takent and work is rewarded, rather than your family name. It really isn’t hard to understand.

    Like 50
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  2. Resident says:

    It’s because the educated youths don’t want to come back to a place that has squandered its riches and opportunities over the last 40 years. Look around!

    They don’t want to come back to a place run by a tiny group of connected people. Amazing!

    Like 40
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  3. Aldo says:

    Since when he care about young people? Since when he cares about people period. I could never forget the way you treated me when I came to your office for help. You sat on your chair with your head lean back looking out the window as I pleaded for help. You made no eye contact. No empathy. And at the end you said you can’t help me and that was it. I went to another minister who gladly assisted me.
    If you were the last person on earth to vote for you were not getting my vote. You are a horrible man.

    Like 26
    Dislike 5
  4. What a Revelation!!!! says:

    Only now we know we have lost young people to other jurisdictions?! We will lose more until we address our issues here.

    Like 10
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  5. Faith says:

    You are 100% correct, this man only cares about himself and no one else. You were in politics for more than 20 years and you did absolutely nothing for the country much less the young people, shout up and retire from politics. It is people like you why the BVI the it is today…

    Like 14
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  6. Anonymous says:

    It does not take a rocket scientist to arrive at some answers.
    1. Better wages where they trained. Why would anyone go to college, get qualified, and return home where their pay is 50% or less of what they would make starting out.
    2. Cheaper housing
    3. More functional society (better roads, no power outages, faster internet)
    4. Better availability in goods and services.
    5. Why return to a society that runs own cronyism and corruption, and that does not value education, or even doing things right.
    And, exactly what has Dr. Pickering done for the youth in the BVIs in the past?

    Like 36
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  7. Seems a Degree is a waste here says:

    Youths are getting Degrees and can’t receive pay for it, so there staying where they can get money for their hard work. Cost of living is way to high here, its getting worst everyday, you can’t save, can’t afford to build. So if they can build a life where they are, I would stay too.

    Like 18
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  8. The Notorious BIG Brown Bomber says:

    When you were in the position to do something you did not. You lost the opportunity. You have proven yourself already. So now nobody will have faith in your words.

    Like 12
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  9. Shame on You says:

    In the BVI cronyism and nepotism is the order of the day. I was halfway through a PhD and was working construction because I was not BVIslander despite have BVI citizenship and having recieved a scholarship for AA and LLB. When I did get a job it was in a toxic government department with a toxic director with an AA with whom nobody got along with. This was all under the NDP. Applied for jobs for which I was over qualified for years. In 2019, I decided to go to my birth country for a week, one week has turned into almost four years. Since then, I have accomplished so much. From not being able to secure empmoyment to building my own home, landing a great job at the most prestigious faculty of the region’s best institution of higher education to being promoted to deputy head after merely two years. With all these opportunities, which young person will want to put up with the cronyism and nepotism that exist in the BVI?

    Like 26
  10. Elsa says:

    Your statements are not entirely true. In the US, the pay is not very good because everyone has a degree. However, it may be easier to find work than in the BVI because we prefer strangers. Government HR Department don’t even bother to respond to applications for positions. Sometimes you wonder if they received them. When they do, they walk around the office asking “who is he/she”. Who are his parents? Depending on the answers, seemingly applications are filed under “T” (Trash.)

    Like 20
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  11. Stupes says:

    I have a cousin who is a nurse in the states, and she tired applying to the BVI for a job. Not even a response has she received. She now heads a unit in a large hospital in Florida. It’s a shame how we do not see the potential in our people, but others do.

    I know another nurse who applied and again got no response. She applied in St Thomas, and within two months she was in St Thomas working. Meanwhile, the BVI is looking to some Spanish countries to recruit medical staff. When they arrive they cannot communicate with the patients like during the pandemic. By the way, the doctors from Cuba are leaving with some additional information to put on their resumes. They are now bilingual. BVI is indeed a college.

    Like 18
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  12. Lack of opportunities says:

    How many young people,no matter the degree can work honestly and own their own homes. We are becoming a citizen of renters we can’t own anything if we come back .

    Like 9
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  13. BVI Future says:

    And if this trend continues, Tortola will be brain dead in about 10 years. Unless, we continue to recruit doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. from other countries.

    Like 6
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  14. It's the games played says:

    SOOO many of my contemporaries and now that I’m older, children’s contemporaries have returned with a degree; happy to be home and prepared to earn less and pay more in order to HOME, with their families and friends. After two or three years their energy, ideas and ideals are squashed. They announce they’re leaving, citing the games that are played, saying they are blocked and forced to debase their goals and dreams. They say this doesn’t happen in the US/CA/UK. One of my children is getting ready to go.

    We have outgrown this ‘crabs in a barrel’ thing. It should never have been a point of pride- it’s been a brain drain for decades. Now we’re stuck with a government that operates on the fumes of cronyism and malice rather than brain power.

    EVERY government board deserves a thorough investigation and deep clean as necessary.

    Like 7
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  15. @ Aldo says:

    Hmm when I read your comments it hit home for me. I asked for assistance to find a job as well (not a hand out) and I got none. Well, it was through a friend that saw my value who put me onto a company they worked for and I am grateful they saw my value too. As a young person you try hard to go to school and come back to give back to your country, only to be met with hardships. Yes you have to start from somewhere but who is really giving you a chance these days? Nobody expects to make 6 figures when they start but at least a salary that can allow one to afford this high cost of living, to pay your bills, save a little, be able to have some sort of disposable income. It is a shame what I hear some people make and I wonder how in the world they make it. I am blessed to be able to have a decent living. But for a person who went to school on a Government scholarship and couldn’t get into their field because nothing was available, I’ve had to work in a totally different sector. In a way you feel like you went to school for nothing but I am still blessed nonetheless. I hope Government does something for the young people because nobody can afford land much less a home with some salaries i see.

    Like 12
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  16. Accurate says:

    Everything on point, and much more than those that left for school and havent returned, there are a large number of young ppl with US status, every year they jus deciding to leave, and put that status to work for their benefits. its sad to see but u honestly cannot blame them.

    Like 4
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  17. SMH says:

    and then they have the nerve to say they have to recruit medical staff from other countries..that is ludacris

    Like 7
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  18. Strupes says:

    What about all those youths that were sitting on the Stickette all day smoking marijuana and you did nothing to help them. No rehab. No effort to help them find a job. No nothing but all of a sudden now you want young people to believe in you. Dr. Pickering scatter your deceitful, power hungry, rich white friends loving self from here.
    You would say anything to get back in power. We don’t want you. You are a failure.

  19. Home Country says:

    BVI losing young professionals after they complete overseas studies

    Like 4
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  20. Lodger says:

    Is the Pope Catholic?

  21. hmm says:

    So they must come back here to work for pittance and take nonsense from people that not even half as qualified as them who wont even listen to their ideas because they like everything backwards and disorganized so that the corruption can thrive?

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  22. Charles says:

    It is known as a brain drain.

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  23. YEP says:

    And youths are disappearing also some getting gunned down also yet not a word from you ,you have disappointed many people and you have even disrespected yourself in the process , but you ain’t got the message yet , AGRIGCULTURE is still suffering from your side effects ,you can use some healing from CSC or the bishUP

    Like 1
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  24. I don’t blame them one bit says:

    And I would say, don’t come back. Come back to visit and spend time with your family and go right back. They go away and get a good education and when they come back to this place they cannot get a job. The jobs is given to people based on who they are related to even if they are dumb as a door nail.

    Like 5
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  25. Frustrated Graduate says:

    The BVI is losing us graduates because the seniors within departments stereotyping us and beating us down because we went to school.

    Rather than trying to train us, they victimized and chastise when we just want to learn from you and step up when you retire.

    We are never properly compensated, and sometimes we have to wait years for a job in our respective field.

    So why would we come back when we’re not even wanted?

    Like 5
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  26. yawn says:

    BVI losing youths because when you were minister of labour rather than coming up with a plan to integrate them into jobs you were oil nut bay and moskito island with Branson and Johnson doing their bidding. You were more interested in saving sharks on Branson’s instructions than saving the young people. Youre looking votes now so busy trying to get young people on your side. Why you don’t go ask the shark them to vote for you. You do more the them than for the young people when you were in government.

  27. Agree says:

    I totally agree. My cousin graduated nursing school earlier in the year, was offered several opportunities but refuses them to come home and give back but is still at home waiting on a call from DOSH after all these months.

  28. Guess What? says:

    Hello Dr. This discussion as far as I know is uncalled for. Lets look at the statistics of available vacancies for your people in BVI. Our Premier just stated that he is looking forward to creating 100 jobs this season. You dont create job but create infrastructures and enabling environment to grow the economy and economy invariably create jobs. So many of the jobs created by the government are not sustainable. We shouldnt pressure the Young people back home once they are ascending the ladder of their career overseas especially if such opportunities are not available for them at home. They should however be prepared to come home when their services are needed. Lets not forget that this is the age when countries are exporting their professionals overseas for invisible imports in the form of Forex remitances an Technology transfer. Dr. Please think again. I want to see a BVIslander becoming American President or British Prime Minister. Lets not be narrow minded but have a world view tto get to the world stage.

  29. Why?/ says:

    Why somebody dont throw rocks at this man when he talking these things mehson

  30. Which youths says:

    Which youths they want to come back here? The indigenous or the non-indigenous. Once you experience civilization outside, this place only becomes good for visiting like a tourist. The youth must be reading all the garbage spewing out of the poisonous leaders’ mouths. They are better off far away from the foolishness. When they should be protecting the youths, they busy with their indigenous identity crisis. NEWSFLASH, ain’t nobody who was brought over on a slave ship indigenous…mental nutjobs.

  31. That's Right says:

    What is 6.50 per hr.
    What is 9.00 per hr.
    What is 12.00 per hr.
    How can we survive down here, rent and food is high dont talk about gases and car payment. Ppl with kids, buying land or a house. I’ve been in America for seven years and I have my own house and car paid off. Why would I leave great for struggle..

    Don’t tola Vacation only

  32. Anonymous says:

    It must be a political epidemic in the Caribbean then.
    The same problems and reasons you and others listed, we also are experiencing in our country.
    Shame on these people we elect to ensure our best interests, but …

  33. Joycelyn Henry-Hampson says:

    It must be a political epidemic in the Caribbean then.
    The same problems and reasons you and others listed, we also are experiencing in our country.
    Shame on these people we elect to ensure our best interests, but …

  34. Lily Ann says:

    If I really tell Kendrick wa I REALLY want to say, Bill Gates gon blockme off his Internet and send the FBI for me !!!! So let merest my tongue on this POS politician.

  35. Lily Ann says:

    If I really tell Kendrick wa I REALLY want to say, Bill Gates gon block me off his Internet and send the FBI for me !!!! So let merest my tongue on this POS politician.

  36. Hospital says:

    This doctor have doctors and nurses assisting him with his private patients and never pays them. Many more I could say but I cannot make it all public mehson.

  37. @ Aldo says:

    This is sad and I know how you felt. I have always thought of him as weird. I guess he has his people he smiles with. . .

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