BVI News

Man of the ‘local’ people: Skelton promises ‘real job preference’ to BVIslanders


Leader of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) Ronnie Skelton is promising greater job opportunities for locals under a PVIM government.

“I believe that it is time that Virgin Islanders or Belongers are given real preferences in the job market. No longer must this be just lip service,” Skelton said at the launch of the movement on Friday.

He added: “We need to stop thinking that only people from beyond our shores have value. We need to give ourselves a chance and a PVIM government will do just that.”

The movement leader said the territory spends millions of dollars annually to train locals.

He, however, noted that there is a limited number of available jobs to supplement this training.

“I am committed to making sure that all the people of the Virgin Islands have the opportunity to become a meaningful part of the workforce and I promise you that I will never tell you that I can no longer continue to support you or protect you,” he said.

The PVIM presented seven election candidates at Friday’s launch.

They are Apostle Curnal P Fahie, Shaina Smith, and Skelton who will all contest the Territorial At-Large seats.

On the other hand, Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull will seek re-election for the Second District, taxi operator and sportsman Karl Scatliffe will vie for the Fourth District, recently-resigned Commissioner of Customs Wade Smith is the movement’s contender for the Fifth, and Jose deCastro has been selected as the PVIM’s candidate for the Ninth.

“Honourable QC Dancia Penn is expected to be with us,” Skelton then announced. She is believed to be the party’s final At-Large candidate.

At least three other political parties will be presenting candidates for the next General Election which must happen by April 16 next year. These three other parties are the Myron Walwyn-led National Democratic Party, the Andrew Fahie-led Virgin Islands Party, and the Julian Fraser-led Progressives United.

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  1. Jokes says:

    Man of which local people. I can’t tell the last time I see Ronnie until he lose election and form his own party. Ask Omar family what this man of the local people did to him.

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  2. Hmmmm says:

    You would never think that this man was elected for 16 years, all of which was in the position of a Minister in Cabinet. Now he loves the locals. Hon. Skelton you cannot walk 2 feet in Myron’s shoes or even Andrew Fahie’s shoes when it comes to doing things for locals, particularly the youth of this Territory. You have allowed yourself to be used in an e—————l game of “look at me know..” and you will only realize it when it’s far too late. As a young BVIslander under 30 years old I’m struggling to find examples of when you have helped any of us with anything, now we are hearing the talk. I got my first job because of the YES program and I always see Hon. Walwyn among us the people. You can meet him anywhere in the street and ask a question and he is not only out when it’s election time, he is out all the time. Walwyn and NDP getting my vote next election and a lot of my friends and family are doing the same.

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    • @Hmmmm says:

      You hit the nail on the head. We the team Myron people know what’s good. Myron is approchable, he is always on his grind.

      Like 17
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    • @Hmmm says:

      You are so correct. Myron is a people’s person. He is not stuffy and boring like the rest of the other fakers who is running for office.

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    • Trip says:

      Walwyn failed. Our schools are in ruins. The quality of education has declined under his watch.

      Our future can’t rely on repeating failed methods. We need change. We need a better school system and a better educated population. It all starts with education brothers and sisters.

      Look, if Walwyn would have spent the $1m from the wall on improving the curriculum for first graders we would have smarter 3rd graders this year. If Walwyn would have spent the $7.2m from the airline on improving the curriculum for 7th graders we would have smarter high schoolers. If Walwyn would have spent the $50m cost over runs for the pier project we would have more college graduates today who could be contributing to solving problems that Walwyn can’t solve like putting out fires, or fixing our streets, or providing us with reliable electricity and water. And maybe faster internet! And imagine if Orlando had had obtained the $500m he wanted for his white elephant runway project and that had been spent on education? We would be the smartest island in the world and we could sit back and enjoy the safe modern clean country that we deserve.

      Instead, we can’t solve simple problems like getting rid of our garbage.

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      • Youth says:

        The $million wall was Walywn trying to help the youth. Look how many people got a piece of that pie? He didn’t give it all to one contractor and asked for 10% kickback. He is a man for the people.

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        • Really says:

          He is a man for himself. Honest people don’t need kickbacks. Now be honest with yourself do you really think that wall should costs that much? Or you are so blinded by Myron so called charms. Don’t like the guy too the you cannot tell him when he is wrong .

  3. Woww says:

    If you want Andrew be next premier thumbs up

    If you want Ronnie be next premier thumbs down

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  4. Hmmm says:

    If you wan Andrew be premier thumbs up

    If you wan Myron be premier thumbs down

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    • Youth says:

      We the young people want Myron Walwyn as our next Premier. A real champion and man of the people who has proven this in action over the last 7 years, not just talk. His record of accomplishments and youth empowerment programs speaks for itself.

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      • Really says:

        You the young people sad to say you do not know what the hell you want. You sit on the corners waiting for Myron and others for hand outs instead of getting off your a**es to become productive citizens. List 10 things that Myron has done in the 8 years he has been in position to help make YOU self suffience . A good LEADER teaches one to fish.

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      • hmm says:

        what youth empowerment programme are you talking about.
        enlighten me please. ty.

    • Thumbs up says:

      They all the same

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  5. Well says:

    Forget NDP & PVIM

    We going with VIP just wait you’ll see

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    • @Well says:

      Go with them then. Remember how well it worked in 2007 when you did the same. Go right ahead!

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      • Trust God says:

        People God allowed these hurricanes to hit us because he wanted the people to know that things were not right. That the present government had messed up big time. However, instead of thanking God for showing us the light we are about to turn our backs on him by voting in the same set of people who God is warning us from. We shall be beaten with many stripes.

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        • chups says:

          Shut the h**l up…ppl died in the storms! what do they know now? people lost everything, what do they know but suffering? Keep celebrating the idea of a God who needs you beaten n battered on your knees perpetually dependent on his salvation by all mean but do it in the corner over there ——> waaaaaaay over there!!

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  6. Reallly says:

    Skelton really now you talking about locals and you give this Jamaican a position over me who’s a local, you forgot huh?

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  7. Hmmmm says:

    Ronnie go sit down with that nonsense because when people was in your office speaking about the hiring practices at BVIHSA YOU DID NOTHING!!!

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  8. Sorry but I can't says:

    Ronnie I am a fan but I can never say out of my mouth you are a man for local people.

    You have hired non-locals to run the hospital a few times, as far back as 2-3 years ago you hired a Trinidadian woman to over look the hospital …. You over looked our very own Mr. Georges many times!

    The Trinidad woman left and now you finally put Mr. Georges in that position. Sorry but I cannot say you are a man for the local people. You are no better than Myron.

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  9. REX FeRaL says:

    Local really. The Hill man is local from both sides of his darn family. What did you and you and your gang did to him because he spoke and acted in the truth. Time will tell. The Hill man still available and most competent in his area of expertise. Go figure.

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  10. Do the maths says:

    M——— said that he cant pass laws to protect locals

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    • @ Do the maths says:

      Read and say the whole d**n message and don’t take out what you want. Ahyo too wicked man.. And Ronnie just need to stop.

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  11. good man says:

    People please keep of of the minister hon .Skelton you all does forget all the good he has done ..remember the tax breaks he put in I need to go on .old people say you know what you have but you don’t know who man forgot VIp did not want to extend the cruise ship dock …people look at the bigger picture ronnie is the man to lead this place..

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  12. Not2Sure says:

    Does Ronnie have a condition and have to travel to Florida all the time? How does he think he would be able to manage as Premier?

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  13. SMH says:

    Crying out for Locals! Now that you want votes, we the Locals must listen to your plight. No brother, we not sleeping! You can’t fool all the people. Boi Bye!

    Like 25
  14. Well Sah! says:

    Lord well supposed the expatriate communities boycott the local businesses and the local churches. what will we do, Please tell us ?? Ronnie now is not the time for division and hatred….

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    • ??? says:

      why does it always have to be about division and hatred. I can legally live and work in the USA however, I am not a citizen, hence I can not hold a state nor federal job which are reserved for their citizens. If I decide that I want relocate to one of the leeward or winward islands, please do tell me whether I will be able to get a job that is reserved for their citizens. BVIslanders do not have a problem with expatriates living among us. we do however, have a right to be able to live in our homeland and not be treated like we are second class citizens. Hon. Walwyn has said that they cannot make laws to protect locals hence we have a st. Lucian as head of our prison, ports as well as ports HR. If we are not to make laws to protect locals then who should we make laws to protect.

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  15. Oh Ronnie !!! says:

    Whoever is advising you,they should put a clothes pin on your mouth. You know good and well you CANNOT promise something like that. Stop trying to fool people. Don’t be out here begging for votes with your empty promise. You Ronnie Skelton, you need to go home, get in Your bed and think about the things you have done to the same people you are now begging for votes.Dude,I see you on the way up, and I am seeing you on the way down. Who Knows,Knows. That is my PSA announcement.

    Like 17
  16. =( says:


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  17. Thomas says:

    All these great ideas all of a sudden, yet you were a member of cabinet up until a few short weeks ago, but did nothing about it. I like how his brain only starts to work when he needs something for himself.

    Like 25
  18. Lordie says:

    Ronnie go cart your r**s. You didn’t do it then and you expect us to believe you will do it now???

    Only idiots will follow that foolish talk.

    Like 28
  19. Wow says:

    People of this beautiful bvi. As I watch the unfolding of a vibrant democratic process only one thing I see , leadership matters. I am an undecided young voter but when I read Hon. Walwyn’s statement I cried . Excellent statement. Our own people has become angry and hateful to each other and all about country. These are the words I want to hear. How are we going to fix our country and move forward. We need all hands together to make it happen. Put away negative thoughts, our tongue is powerful tool. It is no longer where you parents from. It is who can lead this country forward. Our country has been beaten and we have been warned by the almighty. When god said come to me and I will give you rest. It was not for any particular group it was for all.

    Leadership matters

    Come on now show your leadership skills
    Let’s put our country back together with prayers

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  20. BIG QUESTION says:


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    • @ BIG Questions says:

      You sound like a very bitter old lady. Mrs. GRINCH! All EXPATRIATES need stop supporting locally owned businesses, churches, etc. Then you all will know what time it is.

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    • A half breed here says:

      @Big Question, the sweetest part of being a half breed is knowing that I the half breed has the same rights under the law as you do and you cannot do a d**n thing about it no matter how much you rant and rave about it. Now that you are dismissed, you can go and marinate in the haters sauce.

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    • Hybreed says:

      Thanks to half breeds, incest and inbreed is no longer a mainstay!!

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    • @Big Question says:

      Err, Mrs.Grinch, the word is said/says, not save.

  21. Devon says:

    I didn’t see him looking after locals or anyone while they were choking from the smoke from Coxheath and pockwood pond !

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  22. Cromwell says:

    I really hope the sensible Virgin Islanders have more sense than to follow this man’s propaganda, it would be the final kiss of death for these islands. Bermuda, Cayman, Jersey and Guernsey’s economies are booming by going in the complete opposite direction, bringing in the best qualified people to do each job, and, that includes school teachers that get children on to college. Expats are employed here because there are not enough locally qualified people to fill positions. Clearly this man merely intends to force local businesses to employ unqualified people, which, will merely drive those businesses that are still here to go elsewhere.

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    • ** says:

      Don’t forget that the Caymans had to learn this lesson the hard way. They drove out all the expats that had been on island over 7 years. Then their hotels were dirty and had no maintenance, and all their businesses suffered. They have changed their laws, so now is why they are doing better.

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  23. son of the soil says:

    Yes ronny..mek deh bveye great agen

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  24. Half breeds are pretty says:

    I though half-breeds was a term, though derogatory, to describe someone of mixed race and not of dual nationality

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  25. Sam says:

    Who are considered local? 2nd generation, 3, 4, 5, 1 generation
    BVISLANDERS, belongers born to both BVI parents, belongers born to 1 BVI parent?

  26. Political Obsever (PO) says:

    Every regional country from the Bahamas to Bermuda to Trinidad and Tobago to Guyana to Barbados to Jamaica to Belize, as well as international countries, put their citizens first. The BVI should be no diffrent. However, the territory seems to get up in an uproar when someone advocates for locals. When locals emigrate to other countries, they have to get in line.

    Seem like all politicians are “dog whistling.” Ok. Ronnie deep down cares about Locals and Belongers (why 2 two terms?). His weakness, if any, retail politicking; he needs to improve his retail politics skills. As noted above, all countries advocate for their own Ronnie’s advocating for locals and belongers is being viewed as divisive and xenophobic. The population is approximately 60:40, with local being in the minority.

    The BVI growth and development has skyrocketed from a little sleepy to having one of the highest standard of living and quality of life in the region. No doubt immigration has been instrumental in this growth and development. Typically, migration from country A to Country B normally does not result in people returning to Country A.

    As such, the BVI population will be transformed with roots in a myriad of countries. There are about 110 natinalities in the BVI. In the decades ahead, these nationalities will be fully integrated into the BVI society. That train has left the station and is roaring full speed ahead.

    Like 10
    • John says:

      the 100% indigenous Virgin Islander is a dying breed, and I predict will not exist in another 20 years. Why? Between indigenous Virgin Islanders going abroad and dating people of another nationality, and the influx of immigrant labour who then date the ones they meet here.

      If the ratio is now 60:40 in favour of those from abroad, I predict that will be 80:20 in the next 10 years. A time will come when systems will need to change to reflect this new reality. Government needs to start thinking about this

      • PO says:

        @John, what is happening in the VI/BVI is not unique to the VI; it is a challenge face with all locales with small populations where heavy immigration occurs. It has happened in the BVI friendly neighbor, the USVI. Immigrants changing and influencing life in a small locale that needs population growth to grow is an unstoppable force. Like globalization, it has hit and is rocking the BVI. The seeds for this social change were planted decades ago.

        Those seeds have sprouted and are now germinating. What were seeds you asked? Well, the seeds were 1) some locals emigrated, 2) BVI economy transformed from subsistence agriculture to service (tourism and financial services), 3) increased demand for skilled labour, 4) expats immigrated to the BVI to fill labour shortage.

        The bottom line is that approx 110 nationalities that now resides in the BVI will become an integral part of the BVI community. The BVI society/population changing is inevitable. A new BVI population wave is on the horizon; ride the trough or get trapped in the trough. Be part of what is happening, not looking and wondering what happened.

  27. Imagine says:

    Imagine me voting for you so you can make my parents who are not from here to suffer. I must be a fool

    • Really says:

      I guess that is why you will vote Myron to make the locals suffer. What you don’t like for yourself you should not wish it for others. Shame on you.

      Like 1
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      • Valenonymous says:

        Why should anyone have to “suffer?” We all live here, we all want the same things, and we can all be successful. We are not in competition with each other!!! The success/happiness of locals should not and does not have to prevent the success/happiness of expats, and vice versa. And until this territory realises that, we will ALL suffer.

  28. oooooops just asking says:

    This just all talk,nice but fake until they get in ,its who can tell or comes up with the best
    Lies win,most if not all knows that but guess what you still go and vote for them ,this man i never seeing this man mingling too much pride, if I do is either on TV newspapers are there favorites special funerals ,bvi is a small place and most of them only at funerals,but honestly I am very disappointed by most of them, dishonest,doesn’t matter,changing suits guys come on plz,well it was in the sunshine and you all behaving like that ,now you all isn’t in it ,what will becomes of us Jesus have mercy ,come Jesus , voting VIP this time they may not in the sun shine but they have a torch

    Like 1
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    Hon Skelton, Consider this headline as your ‘MOST VEXING MOVE”


    Someone needs to advise your advisers.

  30. Really says:

    Only now he realized that ,real jobs for locals.

  31. @Big Question says:

    Err, Mrs.Grinch, the word is said/says, not save.

  32. Ausar says:

    ..And now we are finally being told how valuable we truly are..

    It’s a little too late, Ronnie. You were a part of the leading government, who, for the most part, gave great paying careers to outsiders, and I heard not one peep, of dissatisfaction, from your mouth!

    Instead, you stood there, like a church mouse, squealing alot about nothing. And you should now be believed!

    Sorry Sir, but Imma gonna take my chances with someone else.

    If I’m gonna lose my bet about whose leadership will be best for this country,let me lose it for a newcomer in the game, not a “continued” player for whom the bells have long been tolled!

  33. reality check says:

    The BVI GDP is not sufficient to support the needs of the community. it has been growing due to the influx of the outside world bringing new jobs and money into the system. This needs to continue if BVI is going to be saved from slipping into a third world country. However if this is going to the path them BVI has to accept that society has to change and accept how the culture will change. Change is not a bad thing and pretending to accept change for $’s is a rocky road to distrust by the international community and breads contempt. if BVI goes on this path the part of the community that gets left behind are the poor and unskilled workers. This can be seen with the UK brexit vote. The working class got left behind and dropped a political bomb with the leave vote and now the UK is in Turmoil.

    The answer is not to insist that outside business take on untrained and unskilled workers but make BVI people better skilled, better educated and able to compete with people coming in. An international business will readily take on skilled local people who can do the job because its cheaper. its that simple !

    Finally what i find so disappointing watch the build up to the election is its all about personalities and allegiances not once have i hear one candidate out line the plan, what they intend to do, how gov money will be divided between social, medical and infrastructure with a costed pledge and or what plans they have to build and increase the GDP for the benefit of the BVI.

    short term bring into the education system outside skills, accept education is poor and bring in international teachers this is a Strong investment for the future and a strong foundation. look at new ventures for the BVI, the most obvious one is green energy. BVI is made for green energy technology and research.

    Tie up with international universities in the UK and make BVI the centre of Green energy study. make BVI the go to location for green education. this brings in money, is a direct benefit to BVI to clean the place up and make is less reliable on oil and boosts the educational standards of local people.

    international financial companies are looking for green and ethical investment and BVI could become just that. !! Just a thought

    • Jono says:

      @reality check

      You’re right, business would hire locals if they were qualified for the job. It’s simpler, cheaper , and easier. Yet after living in the BVI for years, there are still barely any qualified locals in most fields.
      This coupled with a horrible work ethic, where many feel simply being “bahn heah” is all the qualification needed, doesn’t make a business owner rush to hire a local.
      Lack of skills can sometimes be attributed to lack of opportunities,( schooling etc).
      Lack of a good work ethic, is solely on the individual.

      I’ve long thought that many locals have become pariahs in their own country, quite sad really.

  34. GEEN says:

    Making political and divisive statement does not make a good leadership.A good leader should be for all.

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