BVI News

Labour Ministry introducing Skilled Workers Amnesty Programme this year

Labour & Immigration Minister, Vincent Wheatley.

The Ministry of Labour is set to implement a Skilled Workers Amnesty Programme (SWAP) in the British Virgin Islands this year.

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley made that announcement in a recent session in the House of Assembly where he said SWAP is one of the many programmes expected to be rolled out by his ministry in 2020.

“The department will introduce a Skilled Workers Amnesty Programme for skilled workers — particularly in the construction industry — who are working in the territory with employers not listed on their work permits. They will be asked to contact the department to address regularizing their work permits status,” Wheatley stated.

Employers Orientation Programme

Wheatley added that there will be an orientation programme for employers in the territory.

He said several benefits will come from this programme. These benefits include building employer awareness and compliance on Health & Safety and Labour relations matters; reducing unauthorized employment from within the territory, and curtailing the number of reported disputes by informing employers of their rights as prescribed in the territory’s Labour Code.

“The primary objective is to ensure that sound labour practices are followed through the enforcement of the BVI labour laws or code so that a harmonious working environment can exist between the employer and the employee,” Minister Wheatley stated.

Health and Safety Campaign

He also said the Health and Safety Campaign will be recommenced and used as a means to rejuvenate and create a culture of safety in the BVI’s workspace.

Wheatley said the VIP government will continue to the 1,000 jobs in 1,000 days initiative, which will be offering soft skills training to local jobseekers.

These initiatives, according to Wheatley, are all aimed at creating a labour market in the territory which is conducive to economic growth, investment and employment creation.

The minister said he believes it will also create a labour market which will be characterized by improved skills, equity, and sound labour relations.

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16 Comments

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  1. ken says:

    Wow, that is prob the worst idea of the month! This will backfire on BVI big time. It only “Allows” Illegals to get legal rights to work and take jobs away from BVI residents who may need jobs. What is the unemployment rate in BVI? is every able body working? If not then reject this, if so then make them return to their home country and apply for w work permit. Also fine these employers who are not registering workers properly. Learn from the USA because we screwed it up years ago and now have to go back and try to fix it…

    Like 13
    Dislike 13
  2. joke says:

    this must be a joke to lead them into the office so they can be deported. They are saying its okay to be on the BVI without a work permit but they threw out all the ladies that these men went to….very strange!

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  3. Question says:

    What is the unemployment rate in BVI as it relates to BVIslanders and belongers?

    • While you are at it says:

      Double check to see what the productivity is of these unemployed and what the reason is for their unemployment and how often did they apply for a job and came prepared to the interview.

      Like 19
      Dislike 3
      • @while you are at it says:

        If there are ten interviews to be had, they should have the opportunity until the employer finds the best fit. Why? They are home. Where the hell are they suppose to go to find work? A lot of who come here don’t have better education levels than BVI High or HLSCC but they have three jobs. Why? Cheap labour. If locals are working, I have no problem with someone coming to work if there are jobs out there, but don’t justify it with bull crap. I am a proud BVIslander and we are no dumber or worst than anybody else in the Caribbean. The only thing we are is soft that people can come here and call us out of our names and remain. Hmmph.

        Like 8
        Dislike 6
        • Check It says:

          Who many skilled Belongers who are construction workers you have who cannot find work?
          Every Belonger who are skilled construction workers are contractors. This is the best area for local young men to go away to colleges to study and acquire the necessary skills because by the time they return they are contractors.

  4. @Simple says:

    I laugh. It seems this new Government insist on helping everybody else but BVIslanders and Belongers. This is a piss poor idea. Constructions jobs are not flourishing as they did right after Irma/Maria, and some of the skilled or not so skilled workers who came to take advantage of the building boom are now sitting around Riteway and LIME all day long calling down BVI and BVIslanders. So what is this going to accomplish? The aim is to get those who are idle working or out of here? Our boys can sleep all day and then ride around on a bike all night and that is fine with us? Please save some of these jobs for our young men. Concentrate on your own for a change. They will work if the jobs are available. Half the time they don’t know jobs are available for everybody else is looking out for their own except us. Strupes

    Like 12
    Dislike 5
  5. Guy Hill says:

    Labour Department and Immigration Department are two different and distinct Departments. I’ll just rest this here.

  6. ReX FeRaL says:

    Vincent for God sake . These people who idle everyday in Road Town and elsewhere are unemployed.skill Amnesty will not change that. Stop watering down the laws of the Virgin Islands to appease and accommodate foreigners. This doesn’t happen in the countries they come from. Go back to the drawing board with this nonsense.

  7. Norris Turnbull says:

    You reduce unauthorized employment by enforcing the dam laws.

  8. Winston Durant says:

    Who is advising this c***n?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Any BVIslanders wana work in UK that fine by me.

  10. For Real says:

    Work Permit, that is all Labour Department concentrates on, without work permit the Department would be rendered useless. Sad.

  11. ok says:

    — who are working in the territory with employers not listed on their work permits.
    But isn’t this illegal in the first instance!
    And remember, after Irma and Maria, Labor would not let you bring relatives in to help you unless you had a Trade License. Then issued Trade Licenses to every Tom, Dick and Harry that knew what a hammer is. Then were allowed to rip off the people with their shoddy work and never finishing said shoddy work! I paid $11K to fix my roof and it is still leaking.

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