BVI News

I’m not against persons coming to work in the BVI — Wheatley

Vincent Wheatley

Labour & Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley has insisted that he is not against immigrants coming to work in the BVI but is instead simply trying to ensure that locals have a fighting chance in the territory’s labour force. 

Minister Wheatley said he is cognisant of the fact that the BVI won’t always find all of its labour pool from among its local population, but said officials have to do everything they can to make sure that all locals are employed. 

“We have to do it, we must give our people a fighting chance. I’m not against anybody coming into the country [to work],” the Labour Minister said in the House of Assembly recently. 

He added: “If we continue to give out work permits willy-nilly, and our people are still at home watching persons go into work, I tell you it is going to create a problem down the road.”

Wheatley said he’s been told in the past that he was fighting a losing battle, but the minister said he pushed back and asked if he’s fighting for his people, how can it be a losing battle?

Uproar in the marine industry

According to the minister, there has been an uproar in the marine industry “where they can’t hire enough boat captains on work permit”. But the minister again countered this narrative and said there are local boat captains that are sitting down and not working. 

“How can that be right? How can I just give you a boat captain’s license like that and I have local persons here sitting down, not working? That is not sustainable,” he argued. 

Wheatley said even though there are problems with the Labour Department, it continues to work through its challenges. 

Give poor local workers third and fourth chances

The minister said he commended all the companies that have taken the initiative to continue to hire local staff and to give them opportunities and chances. 

He said persons have given him stories about locals not wanting to work and not showing up for work after being paid. However, the minister urged employers not to dismiss them.

“I’m saying give them a second, third, fourth chance. We cannot ignore our people,” Minister Wheatley stated.


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  1. I born here says:

    So this m** m** apologizing for standing up for locals? in his own county? I feel sorry for we locals they fighting for us but pulling back, very sad place

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    • Truth says:

      If locals wanted the jobs and could do them, then they’d get them. But too many can’t do the job or don’t want to. Business should not have to accept poor staff – the consumers and the jurisdiction just get dragged down by this. In the real world, you rarely get a second chance if you’re bad. The BVI needs to be in the real world.

      Like 35
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  2. You surely act like it says:

    Most telling your policies and statements that you have made since the beginning of your tenure demonstrates the opposite of what you are now saying.

    Just own it. You do indeed have a problem with persons coming to work in the BVI.

    Like 43
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  3. Radio Rich says:

    Irretrievably stupid

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  4. Resident says:

    Why should private business waste their time and resources giving crap workers a third and fourth chance? That’s a good way to go out of business.

    It’s a shame that when the BVI had all its revenue between 1984 and 2010 or so, it didn’t use it to have a world class education and training set up for local kids, to teach valuable skills and how to actually hold down a job effectively.

    Oh well, the damage has been done, and now there is no money….

    Like 44
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  5. son of the soil says:

    Mehson yo dont have to explain nothing to these ungrateful expat workers. We allow them to come here because their country cant take care of them

    Like 13
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  6. shaken says:

    “I’m saying give them a second, third, fourth chance.” Really…? A fourth chance?

    Like 28
    • Restorm says:

      A second to fourth chance is not how you manage a business. Have you ever hear the saying “Time is money” what ever time is put into daily work is what calculate for payment/ money. Training your people to give good attitude towards business get them promoted. What nonsense, this country cannot build business with bad business model it cause money to do so would the government start sharing rebate /stimulus/ money?

  7. Rubber Duck says:

    Just another clueless politician garnishing votes. Get out and try running a business here Wheatley. There are places closed because they cannot get staff.

    Like 33
    Dislike 3
  8. We see you says:

    Your policies and your treatment of expats during the beginning stages of covid said everything about you. Locking out people on work permit exemptions and separating them from their families. Talking about flushing out expats from the BVI. Changing the terms of the work permit exemption policy so that people who live here for over 20 years will still be on work permit. Taking forever to approve work permits. What other evidence you want? Raising the cost of work permits. Adding 7% tax to money transfers out. You are against expats. It’s clear as day.

    Like 69
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    • Truth says:

      And when the expats of all nations finally get kicked out of or leave the BVI, then there will be unemployable, uneducated locals and no income for the country (and a lot of empty apartment blocks). Those BVIslanders with talents (of which there are many) will long have left too. Pandering to the ignorant and racist might win you votes, Minister, but is no demonstration of Vision or Leadership.

      Like 21
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  9. Questions to ask... says:

    Hon. Minister, you note that “… there are local boat captains that are sitting down and not working.”
    Have these under – or un-employed local boat captains passed their BVI Boat Master licensing with the BVI Shipping Registry?
    Or do they hold a US Coast Guard or RYA license?
    If they have these, are they commercially endorsed?
    Have they passed their STCW training requirements?
    These are the same requirements your departments ask for in work permit applications. Enquiring minds want to know!

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
    • Hmm says:

      I would really like to know which lical captains are home abd not working and two how come they are not working why are charter companies who really need captains are not calling them to work????

      • Secret Bear says:

        There’s a reason most charter captains are expats. No local captains want to live for weeks on end in cramped quarters on board a boat and deal with rude, demanding guests all day and all night. They want to set their own terms, work a cushy 9 to 5 and hit the bars when they’re through. If they’re unemployed it’s because there aren’t very many of those types of captain jobs available.

  10. Ting to talk says:

    He again. Every minutes he came up with some kind of nonsense talk. Be reAl your actions speak louder than your words.

    Like 10
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  11. THAT VG PRINCE ? says:

    Since he got that position , he has been flexing his muscles on the other Caribbean brothers and sisters ( real show off ) hypocrite

    Like 19
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  12. BVI Patriot says:

    Like I always say. We BVIslander can’t go Jamaica, Trinidad, South Africa etc and demand that we be given a work permit. But it seem like everyone want to come to the BVI and make such demand. Minister Wheatley don’t mind the noise. Keep looking out for your people.

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      • @ jamaicsn L and I love says:

        Jamaica ,like Satanwould welcome everyone with open arms so that they could satisfy their unquenchable thirst for human blood and dead bodies.

      • I 'fraid says:

        January 1,2021 thru November 6 2021 there has been 1,215 recorded murders in Jamaica,committed by Jamaicans against Jamaicans.
        Let them keep their welcome.

  13. It is obvious says:

    Yes it is obvious that most of you commenting against the minister are not locals. I agree with the minister because it is very clear that you would look out for your own. What is wrong with him looking out for the people of this country? Stand firm Hon.

    Like 5
    Dislike 13
  14. We see through you says:

    In order for the BVI to achieve and reap financial success there MUST be 35-45 people living on the island . You need to go and do your research before spouting of nonsense .

    A government with people who have no clue . That is why NHI is going through so much problems as well
    . Alyo need help

    Like 4
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    • @we see through you says:

      You know so much about how a country can be financialy successful. What are you doing here in this poor country that need help. You smart a××.

      Like 1
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      • Bumbo says:

        I am a young , vibrant , open minded son of the soul who have travelled , gain knowledge and experience to know that we need people in this country to generate commerce both on a local and international scale . Stop
        Allowing your darn prejudice to blind reality . By the way I am not married to any foreigners so my stake is for the good of the Bvi

        • Dis Card says:

          First thing ths morning start of the New Year a Carribbean bro,a handyman no less,and histru luv demonstrating their usual every day kinds existence. Nauseating barbaric. Send them home keepthem away and for good reasons in a civil society. Who wants this cursed demonic karma floating karma around.

    • @,,,we seethrougou says:

      Why then,are those with zillions of people and resources galore,flockng to the lil dry weather place call the VI even when the VI was almost 1,000.
      Success goes starts with the innate character of its people.

  15. Please says:

    Yes you are

  16. @ SON OF D SOIL says:

    U are right ✅ after that
    ( money gram scam) they should know that by now

  17. Lol says:

    Election can’t come soon enough. This guy is just damaging business. He will cause companies to go out of business putting more locals out of work. Most companies have a mix of locals and some on work permit, can’t get the work permit when needed then company done.

    Like 3
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  18. Tourism Man says:

    I am sick and tired of the people of the BVI being marginalized on their own country.We have companies coming to the BVI to do business and before they set up shop, they have already selected most of their employees from elsewhere and have the nerve to apply for work permits before looking to recruit qualified BVIslanders. The other disservice they do to the BVI People is placing job ads in the paper and social media that requires too much qualifications and too much work experience just to discourage and exclude local workers. This has to stop.

    I for one does not support the notion that the British Virgin Islands does not have an educated workforce. We have had community college education for the last 30 years and we have been educating BVIslanders in universities around the world for more than 60years. Minister, you do not have to beg companies to give BVIslabders a fighting chance in our own labor market. It is your job to ensure qualified and non qualified BVIslanders have preference to all jobs in the British Virgin Islanders. Mobalize your labor department to make this happen. It is matter of urgency. If companies come to the BVI to do business but does not want to employ and work with the people of the BVI,they should pack up and leave

    Enough is enough, Minister you have the people support.

    Like 6
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    • @Tourism Man says:

      “I for one does not support the notion that the
      British Virgin Islands dies not have an educated workforce ”


  19. Don’t be naive says:

    When the students leave HLSCc they cannot write a proper sentence . Go sit down . Don’t be naive .
    When they go oversees the majority have to do pass / fail courses to get into University subjects . A lot of the student complained about being ill prepared .
    Look at what the COI unearthed!!! People in position and cannot answer in some cases a single question about their role ….
    But I also believe once BVI are qualified they should get first preference.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
    • Dis Card says:

      First thing ths morning start of the New Year a Carribbean bro,a handyman no less,and histru luv demonstrating their usual every day kinds existence. Nauseating barbaric. Send them home keepthem away and for good reasons in a civil society. Who wants this cursed demonic karma floating karma around.

  20. Hmm says:

    Locals fighting down their own caribbean brothers and sisters when they making money doing cleaning jobs. Yet the job the locals sooo desires are taken up by other non caribbean people and they not fighting them ppl down why? Look at all the high position jobs at big companies who is the head there?

    • @hmmm says:

      Perhaps…the presence of one of the groups you mentioned has lowered the quality of life for VIslanders and is a threat to the foundation of the VI’s economy (tourism and investment) because of their propensity for violence which includes murder,burglary and theft.
      The VI has done itself a disservice with its open door policy to this Group and has been rewarded with ingratitude,crime and a can’t get enough attitude.

      Like 1
      Dislike 1
    • Norris Turnbull says:

      Those Caribbeans are not brothers and sisters. Ill just rest this here.

  21. Liar liar says:

    U against a certain color getting work permits. Look at the race taking up the majority of work here. One sends fir the other and now u note the have an overwhelming amount of them here now. Just look at VG. A construction company has and outstanding amount ofvthem

  22. Wow says:

    All these negative comments about the BVI and their people. Why are you all even here? I will tell you why you are here, because here is the easiest place to come and work and be on a work permit for 20 years and receive status. Why don’t you’ll who are so unhappy with here go to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda or Turks and Caius? You know why, because work permits are not so easily obtained in those places and there is a time limit to how longer it can be renewed. During the Covid-19 crises of 2020 all countries put restrictions in place to protect their citizens not just BVI. Here was not the only place in the world with travel restrictions.

    Like 2
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  23. Hmmm says:

    Well Minister Wheatley, I am testimony that you do and it is a sad case. Your words and your actions are running in different directions.

    It is a good thing to want to help locals secure jobs. I am all for that but you are going about it in the wrong way. There are decent people here with their families, children in school etc. and who were affected job wise due to covid, and with no consideration YOU are pressing them down hard to the ground. These are the same people who looked out for locals and still contribute in some way to this country.
    I have very loving local friends who support you but agree that you are not going about this in the right way.

    God’s willing I will probably thank you later on for the struggles you are putting my family through.

    With that said, I am left to believe that it must be political; because of course you have a heart somewhere in that body of yours.

    God bless you Sir!!!

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