BVI News

Labour Minister to employers: If you find one bad local, move on to the next, and the next

Businesses operating in the British Virgin Islands are being told that not all locals make poor workers so they should continue hiring BVIslanders even if they hire one that turned out to be a bad fit.

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley made that appeal to business owners during an interview on the Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday.

“You cannot judge a nation by one bad experience. You maybe get a bad employee some years ago, you going to paint a whole nation of people to be like that? No. I had to take it out of the atmosphere! I cannot let those words go down in the spirit of my people! If you going to do something and you had one bad experience, I tell those companies, if you found a bad BVIslander, I apologize. Move on to the next one and maybe the next one, and maybe the next one, maybe you may find two dozen [good ones],” Wheatley said.

“This philosophy that ‘I can come and do business in the BVI and I don’t have to hire a single BVIslander if I don’t wish to do so and nobody can make me hire a BVIslander’; this is something I do not appreciate at all,” he added.

Some BV Islanders doing well

The Labour Minister said there are locals who are “doing phenomenal work in the BVI”.

On that note, he suggested that there seems to be a double standard where employers don’t celebrate local employees that do good work.

“You don’t hear anyone singing their praises, and there are tonnes upon tonnes of them who give amazing, world-class, first-class, top-class work. But the minute you find one bad BVIslander, one you don’t like or whatever, all of a sudden all of them lazy, all of them stupid, they all incompetent, they all need training, they don’t have etiquette. All of a sudden they don’t know anything.”

The Labour Minister further said this philosophy has resulted in locals becoming afraid of hiring their own people.


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  1. Styles. says:


    You start to look more and more like the orange leader of the United States. We get it, you want to look out for your people. Rightfully so.

    But currently the only thing you are doing is dividing the country. Everybody understands we need to give locals a chance. And the labour code caters to that requirement. That you do not monitor this is a shortfall of your department not of the rest of the territory.

    We all know there are good locals who we can hire. And we all also know there are bad ones. And no, we shouldn’t judge the good ones on the behavior of the bad. But can you please, for once start giving the locals an incentive to do their utmost best. Because your comments in the past months have only increased the sense of entitlement.

    And if there is one thing we can all agree on, a sense of entitlement is something bad. Really bad. So yes, locals need to get a chance. But also, they should work their buts of regardless of position or pay. You are only talking about chances, not about responsibilities. And this is very dangerous and very counter productive.

    Be a leader and stop dividing the country.

    Like 116
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  2. Next next next says:

    I know a song that goes, on to the next one, on to the next one, on to the next one.

    Unfortunately, as a business you cannot afford keep training people who leave after a few months.

    This comments clearly shows Wheatley has no clue about how business operate.

    Like 73
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  3. Look in the mirror says:

    So we can’t call all locals lazy?

    Can you then also stop calling all people from other islands down islanders and hate on them as a group?

    Like 49
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  4. What ever happened to the old job interview says:

    Better idea. Just hold a tooth sucking contest! Who needs job interviews when you can just have fun with your customers! Them belongers can always suck they teeth better than them Down Islanders!

    Like 15
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  5. Training? says:

    All of them need training?

    You are surprised? That says a lot about your mentality. EVERYBODY NEEDS TRAINING. And the fact that you are surprised by this shows how detached you are from reality.

    Stay in your government job Vincent. There is no place in business for people like you.

    Like 22
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  6. Mad Max says:

    I agree with the Minister to a certain extent. Yes, replace the bad employee with the next best, capable and motivated local applicant. If there isn’t one, then hire an ex-pat.

    However, the employee needs to be capable and motivated as often they will be the face of the business and can have a huge impact on customers. Sometimes, it is not feasible to take the 4th best choice after 3 haven’t worked out when you know there is a better expat available.

    Like 20
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  7. Non BVIslander says:

    I am tired with people bashing the Minister. He is 100% right with everything he says. All of us come from islands where locals far outnumber expat workers. We would cuss the hell out of outsiders if they came and took jobs that we felt a local should get. It is the right of a govt to look out for its people. Not every BV Islander will be a good employee. This is the same for EVERY country. We came for a better opportunity. That does not give us the right to tell the govt how to run the country. We need to do our part because we live here and we pay taxes. But we should not expect a red carpet treatment. If we want to make here our permanent home so be it but support the country and the govt.

    Like 22
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  8. Ausar says:

    It’s interesting how persons who were once rookies, and were once in need of employment, and the sympathy of others to excel in employment, and subsequently their own business, now have no empathy towards others, towards the learning and growing pains of employment and the continuity of it!

    Instead, we are told that Belongers are unskilled and unlearned!

    What I am realizing is that the real jest of the game is to keep Belongers unemployed and then use antics as to why they were unemployable in the first place!

    And this has been the go-to calling card, for at least forty years!

    Thankfully, we now have TRUE leadership that have figured out these types of nuances in the system, and will use whatever they have to, up to, and including, the changing of laws, to ensure that changes are eminent!

    Like 17
    Dislike 19
  9. HonestTruth says:

    Mr Minister, do you not think that employers had already thought to try and try again. The problem is when an employer has decades of experience with reprobate locals who work until their pay check and then disappear. Or who arrive to work late, take lunch early, take a longer lunch than permitted, and then leave early at the end of the day.

    Eye barn hare. So there.

    Like 19
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  10. @Ausar says:

    How many qualified BVISLANDERS do you know currently unemployed?

    Like 5
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  11. To Ausar says:

    Thanks Ausar. I can now reserve my comment as you have more or less articulated the main points of truths and facts.

    Meanwhile, for far to long the Belonger has been at the disadvatageous end of the employment and economic stick. There is much more rectifying to be done, but the time has come to rectify some of those wrongs.

    Like 6
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  12. BVIslanders says:

    The locals are lazy, worthless, racist employees. They do their very best to alienate customers of any business. They have that attitude that they should just be paid, not made to work. As far as the US, Trump created the best economy the US has ever seen. He has done more for the Blacks than any previous president. Higher wages for Blacks, lowest unemployment ever and has changed rules for incarceration. What exactly did Obama do in 8 years other than steal. Trump 2020

    Like 8
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  13. Here's My Take says:

    Honourable Wheatley a good place to start is the Government Proper, the BVI Health Services Authority and the Ports. They have employees doing work that locals can fill, from finance, to security to administrative.

    Yet again, I don’t blame these employees for trying to get jobs with Government where they don’t need a work permit, they saw a loop hole and they went through.

    It’s a systemic problem that needs a thorough overhaul.

    Like 13
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  14. Wow says:

    I am lost for words! So as a business owner who invested all of my money and hard work into building a business, should have no problem moving on to the next and the next while they destroy my service and brand? Is this guy insane? This is a very impractical approach and instead, you should be reminding Belongers that despite having first preference, they also have a serious responsibility to put their all into their work as the business needs that in order to be successful. The recent statements from the Minister will make matters worst for businesses as the impression is given that the locals can do as they please because they’re from here. I am a local and when I graduated from school almost 30 years ago we took the menial jobs and worked our asses off until we moved up the ladder and made it to where we wanted to be. There were no hand outs but rather opportunities to prove yourself. Nobody will convince me that there are a huge number of qualified BVIslanders sitting at home out of work because work permit holders are holding those positions.

    Like 45
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  15. Windy says:

    “move on & on” thats time & money. easy for you to say.

    Like 19
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  16. East Man says:

    Minister defend your people because in the land of the blind the one eye man is king. Too often people have come to our island and intentionally chose to characterise us negatively by controlling the narrative. Well Minister thank you, the past jokers (including those from the VIP) who held your post had no clue and was just out for them self’s. Over and out.

    Like 9
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  17. HealthyVI says:

    For a Health VI….Two sided approach, business need to hire and train local, locals need to be receptive to reasonable expectations.

  18. VG Saturday says:

    I understand everything you say, Mr. Minister, but I believe that in each country before you look for a job, you must know a profession. Educate young people with technical courses so they will have the training to be useful in the functions they are going to perform. In my country it is like this you are sending hatred before you speak think and act with caution expatriates are work people we pay taxes, income and a lot of things you are putting us on the floor and showing that you hate us you are an anti expatriates we expatriates We have no one who stands up for us we come and do our best and when they want to humiliate us and get us out they treat us like a dog I say it because of my current situation you promised to help me you gave me your word that for me that is worth a lot and then change but it is a politician all are equal God bless him always

    Like 4
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  19. Anonymous says:

    What is this man smoking?? Very disappointed ?

    Like 7
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  20. Dictator says:

    Entitled and uneducated racist dictators, BVI government looking more and more like North Korea ever day, if we can’t blame anyone else blame the expats. Business being driven out of the BVI so that political parties like the current one are not held accountable for their corruption. PS you do realize that in any other country you would be branded as racist and would be accountable in court? Not here where you pick and choose your belonger friends… disgusting

    Like 17
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  21. Stale news says:

    …and it continues.

    Minister Wheatley why the beating around the bush? Simply tell the people what is truly up.

    Every day or two it is something with you and expats in the news. Get on with the next topic already please.

    You have just sealed the envelope that gives the BVIlander the right to be entitled. What a ting!!!

    Like 11
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  22. Expat says:

    This is great to give people jobs and I am all for it! Problem is when you have one or more bad apples the Labour Laws are that it is impossible to dismiss that person and they know it!
    We can train so much if the person is receptive to it but impossible if they are not; big issue in the Caribbean.

    Like 11
  23. Frustrated says:

    Oh my word Mr. Minister, you honestly want business owners to spend consistently moving from one to another to another. What kind of operations would companies have when our people keep moving from one job to the next destabilizing the companies to keep looking for new employees. Cho man let us come better dan dat. We want to look out for our own, but we cannot treat people
    so bad. Please do not let the Almighty judge us for treating people shabby.

    Like 2
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  24. Anonymous says:

    Business have been discrminating against belongers for decades, but belongers have steadfastly supported pupported them.

    Businessess, to many of you have been pushing negative narrative about the Belonger being lazy among others, even while you are counting his dollars at the end of the day.

    Ultimately, we will have to become selfish if we are to survive.

    We will have stop supporting your businessess if you do not want to employ us, but wish instead to stigmatize us even as you count our dollars.

    I once worked with Ugandan born Indians. One day we got on the subject of Idi Amin. They complained about how wealthy their families were. I asked them did they give back to the community. They said no. They only did business with other Indians. I said that is why he kicked them out.

    We will be heading down that very road if businsses in this territory does not change their course and practices.

    They must begin contributing to these communities, stop dgrading the inhabitatats and share equally in the profits by reasonable wages, or sooner or later the Idi Amin syndrome will trike here similarly.

    Until the employment culture changes within the territory, the belonger is herewith encouraged to support only businesses with belonger status. You have been reading and seeing hat and how they feel and think about you. Support them not.

    Like 1
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  25. Anonymous says:

    Mr Minister i went by the DMV office and we were outside in the sun line up with 2 persons working windows
    I ask what happen they said they are short staff i as does our labour minister knows
    Then we have prospect reif need to repair,our bvi high schools then the complex to repair and many more,
    Am a local contractor in east end

  26. Mr wick says:

    Wheatley is a f…ing idiot, you cant force people to hire anybody.

    Like 7
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  27. Local says:

    Mr Minister i went by the DMV office and we were outside in the sun line up with 2 persons working windows
    I ask what happen they said they are short staff i as does our labour minister knows
    Then we have prospect reif need to repair,our bvi high schools then the complex to repair and many more,
    Am a local contractor in east end

    Like 2
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  28. Mr wick says:

    Wheatley is a cl**n

    Like 2
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  29. No remorse says:

    Wheatley is a f…ing idiot, you cant force people to hire anybody.

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  30. Ice says:

    Icecream man did just that move from next to next to next then he dedided to go for ex (expat)

    Like 7
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  31. Come one think!! says:

    You speak like a f**l,do you really feel that the whole nation do not want to hire locals because of few bad ones?? find another and maybe another??? Did you ever give it a thought what happen to your business by then?? Think then speak maan….I am an employer have tried at least 10 locals and found 1 good one, willing and hard working but unfortunately he had to go further his studies,,the damage that their bad attitude do to your business can be unrepairable..we have a business to run why should we waste time and risk the well being of the business trying one after the other…find a way to educate, skill train and teach the right attitude rather that trying to force a bad egg to damage a business, the country will suffer when all these business start walking out!!

    Like 6
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  32. Concerned1 says:

    I don’t think that Bvislanders are naturally lazy, ignorant or unwilling to work. They are just a by product of the Governments idea of Entitlement. No where else in the world you are hired just because your from that country, every job has requirements and qualifications. If you don’t posses either of the two then why should you be hired because you from here? Please stop that nonsense, your are creating a culture that can only survive in the “BVI bubble” ( The spoil child effect)

  33. Agree 100% says:

    I totally agree that not all locals are bad, and most of them are actually good.

    The Government should hire this locals that has NO job to set as an example even if they are not qualified and train them instead once hired. (^^,)

  34. @Concerned 1 says:

    Every other country in the world has entitlement for their citizens. There is a pool and employers choose their pick.

    After hurricane Irma countries like St. Vincent sent in stuff for their citizens living here. My point is EVERY COUNTRY TAKES CARE OF THEIR OWN.

    You all want every expat to come here and live way above every citizen, so they can enrich themselves, every family member,friend,neighbour and even their enemy from their country, while the citizens here sit in mediocre jobs even though qualified for more; or not equally paid as their counter parts for performing on the same level or above; citizens sit on the blocks when employers turn them down from low end jobs because they promise some expat a job for their family member,friend,neighbour and even their enemy for something in return; citizens are rejected because the company HR is an expat who looking out for their own.

    Minister I behind you 1000%. BVIslanders we will rise up TOGETHER with PRIDE for or country and hold the reigns of our country to PROTECT our financial sector and rebuild our tourism sector or create any other sector that we see fit to improve the livelihood of our citizens.

    I am not saying we will not lend a helping hand to our non-citizens, our Caribbean peps, or disrespect them the way they do us. We BVIslanders must be in control of our future, our land, our resources, our destiny.

    We have been disrespect by some
    Degraded by others
    We must not be defeated by none
    In the BVI we must be NUMBER 1!


  35. =( says:

    I have never seen and heard such a divisive politician like him in the bvi. where the world, encourage inclusion and equal opportunity, he is encouraging the opposite. he seems to think that private businesses have unlimited financial resources. training and hiring people cost money and time. you can’t just say keep on looking for another local if you failed on first, try again and again.

    Like 2
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  36. Leave a comment says:

    So it’s ok to judge another person from other Caribbean countries based on just what one person did or a few did but not the BVI. Ok I get it,others can’t make mistakes, and correct them and move on. If I come from Jamaica (cause you all hate them so much)and one man from their hurt someone in the bvi,the bvi see it that all Jamaicans are the same as that one man. Look how the table turn lol. You all want others to work for minimum wages but bvi landers to get double the amount and contribute nothing to that business. Ok then Mr Man carry on same way

  37. Carrot bay man says:

    This guy is a total jacka**.

  38. Norris Turnbull says:

    @Here’s my take…He’s not going to do that.

  39. WELL SAID says:

    Cannot say it more clearly than this.
    The problem is when someone get in their comfort zone it is very difficult to adjust to changes .The system for far to long has been abuse and our own people have been victimized in our own Native Land .
    Not only by our Carribean people but also our own Native Ones who continue to violate the rights of B.V.Islanders
    Because of Greed or their personal gain.
    The problem we face is the Controlling Spirit Of Jezebel who have been in Control for so long and now don’t want to let go.
    This is Crystal Clear because of the Negative Comments said about the Minister and the people of these Virgin Islands. The most Embarrassing thing is when sone ofour B.V.Islanders are going to joint forces with some of these Expats and make such Negative Remarks and comments.
    These said people will never do that to their own if the shoe was on the other foot.If we can’t Survive in our own Native Land then where can we Survive. The Change was Long and Overdue I thank you Minister Wheatley for such Vision. Don’t mind the Nae Sayers God allow you to be there for a reason. While you might be persecuted by some just stay Focus.Remember Jesus Christ Heal The Sick,Give Sight to the Blind and Raise the Dead .They all give Praises on to him then, But still a few days Later they all joint hands together and Crucified him .
    So are you to them.

  40. I laugh says:

    I love reading the blogs of expats who have yet another opportunity to talk down, belittle and criticize locals. And I keep saying it, why are you here? If locals were so lazy, we wouldn’t have a country for you all to come to. As brilliant as you all are, why isn’t there other islands like the British Virgin Islands where you all can go and make it as you do here?

    As a BVIslander when I graduated from High School there was not this influx of expats. We were the ones, with Hon. Lavity Stoutt at the helm, who formulated our IBC laws that has taken us to where we are today. After High School you got a little entry level job in the Trust companies and worked your way up. There were no cruise ships, but Tourism was assisting as a second pillar and we were doing very well. And what we were was happy.

    Now, all of a sudden here comes the visitors and they built us? Well, thank you for your assistance. You were paid very well, if the amount of money sent out by Money Gram etc, weekly is any indication. You didn’t do anything for us for free. In fact, we were so nice to you that you don’t want to leave and your new strategy is to find fault in every BVIslander you see and bring us down. Well, we are more resilient than you know.

    Not to bring you down, but the majority of times the non-professional visitor is hired over a local has nothing to do with work ethic but how much money can be paid to the non-local.

    And for those of you who feels that there is not a huge amount of BVIslanders without jobs, just look around in the villages and the young men and young ladies who graduated in the past 10 years, coming forward are the ones idle and suffering. They pass you on borrowed bikes everyday.

    So try the next, and the next and the next is offensive? What the Minister needs to do is ensure that there is not a big pool of expats available that locals are beaten out of positions but entry level jobs. I have no problem if it is a skill not found locally.

    The Hon. Minister just has to conduct a poll. I am definitely with you on this. Someone has to be first in his own home. You cannot give over your home to visitors. What will be left after they leave? Speak to the young people. Let the young people who are in college looking for part time work tell you how they are looking for part time employment and can’t in their own country. Let the High School graduates tell you how they have graduated six years ago, five years ago and have yet to find a job. In fact, I can go further and tell you there are a lot of expats in our country doing nothing but selling their bodies to the highest bidder, destroying marriages and I can go on and on.

    The construction workers who were brought in after Irma or for big projects have since completed their remit with who brought them and are now freelancing without a trade licence all over the island.

    In 2020 with all that is going on, fairness should be the order of the day. Everyone wants to do well at home. Everyone will be unhappy if sidelined in their own home country. So stop blogging foolishness and thank God for the opportunity to be in another man’s country and working. Ungratefulness is the word that comes to mind. Don’t worry, in the blogs you are not known, but God knows and may just dry up all those opportunities that you have and when you have to head for the airport and go back to your country you will remember BVI and BVIslanders fondly and thank God for the leg up. And this goes to all persons visiting our shores for work. Be nice to who you meet in a country because if things go south around here you have somewhere to go we don’t. And that’s the point.

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