BVI News

Minister says it’s a challenge to get BVI businesses to hire locals

Minister of Labour & Immigration Vincent Wheatley said it has been a challenge for him to get businesses in the British Virgin Islands to hire locals.

In a recent television interview, Wheatley said he and his ministry have noticed that some businesses have been intentionally failing to hire locals, which is becoming a problem.

“I’ll say this very frankly, there are some companies who have no intention absolutely of hiring local persons qualified or not, and that cannot be allowed to be continued,” the minister said.

“I am hearing it too often where there are locals who are in positions and there are not being allowed to advance to the next level. They (businesses) want to bring in somebody else from outside when there are definite confirmed qualified locals,” he added.

Expats preferred because of less labour costs

Wheatley said the practice is in all sectors and he believes businesses prefer to hire expats over locals from a cost-saving standpoint.

“As a former business owner myself, I have hired both locals and expats. What we have discovered over the years is that they prefer to hire an expat worker versus a local worker because they feel that they can pay them a little less because in the work permit, they have a little more control over them,” he explained.

He continued: “They tend not to want to hire locals because the locals would demand more money, but you also get a lot of times where you get good value for money but sometimes it would go the other way.”

Recipe to create a problem in the BVI

Minister Wheatley further said if locals continue to get overlooked for jobs in the territory, it will create a big problem for the BVI.

He, therefore, called on business owners to give locals a chance. 

“If they need training, provide the training for them or give me a road map on how you plan to train these persons to advance their careers,” the minister urged. 

“But some are saying, ‘I want to bring my friend. I’ve known this person all my life. We work well together. I want to bring that person with me’. How can that work? If our people remain at home or remain stagnant and outsiders keep coming in and going over them, it is going to create a problem for all of us. We don’t need that,” he explained.

The minister’s statements follow reports that operators of local ice cream parlour, ManJack Creamery has decided to close down because the Department of Labour was denying them from hiring a non-local.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. he soft says:

    He need to have a conversation with Mr Conrad Maduro to see how it was handled back in the 70’s and 80’s

    Like 24
    Dislike 8
  2. SIMPLE says:


    Like 32
    Dislike 82
  3. well says:

    This man biting more than he can chew. he is only fueling war and hate amongst each other in this country… We want DOC!!

    Like 40
    Dislike 35
  4. Good value for money says:

    Very happy to train anyone…

    But can you please also make a comment to locals that they should stop their entitled attitude and start working as hard as they can instead of doing as little as they can get away with.

    Your story is and has been very one sided over the time you were in office. There is more sides to this story than just people not wanting to hire locals.

    There are very talented and motivated locals, I give you that. But there are also definitely some that may be qualified on paper but I would have wanted them out of my business yesterday because of their work ethic.

    Like 152
    Dislike 12
  5. Voice of reason says:

    Large corporations can do that. Small businesses may not be able to, based on skills needed. How many locals are interested in cleaning jobs?

    Like 77
    Dislike 4
  6. Hmmm says:

    It is the locally owned businesses that are the worse offenders, and don’t even try to hire local staff. We know we own and don’t like what we get.

    Like 46
    Dislike 4
  7. Birds Eye says:

    We have multiple businesses and our preference is always to hire locals. The work permit process is too lengthy and expensive to bring persons. Our belief is to hire our own. We do use work permit for the more technical and specialist skills we need in one or two roles but 85% to 90% of our staff is local and we prefer to keep it that way.

    To the young graduants, please choose your career paths careful there are some skills that our people need to have. Don’t shy away from them. There’s no reason for everyone to study the same thing, widen out. Look at the skills our country needs to grow and insert yourself in this development by preparing.

    Like 61
    Dislike 2
  8. really says:

    The minister knows what he’s saying is not the truth we all know some locals do not stay on the job even if they well paid they shows up when ever they wants.

    Like 59
    Dislike 14
  9. Truth be told says:

    We have all been in many business establishments and government offices and have seen the attitude of both locals and expats….and it’s no secret the locals are the most hoggish, so of course people are turned off by their attitude. Now, don’t get me wrong not all expats and locals are pigs when it come to customer service, cause there are a few who are very pleasant AND professional. In the end, government has no right to tell the people who to hire because at the end of the day, these business owners, pay their taxes. This minister is pure trouble

    Like 62
    Dislike 13
  10. #9 says:

    You said that he is fueling war and hate amongst each other in this country so you are saying that the problem should be left alone when a local can’t find work and nothing should be done about it, this has been going on for too long it has to stop. It sounds like you want to go to war and hate because of someone’s right. You are biting more than he can chew.

    Like 14
    Dislike 26
  11. Still the same says:

    Sure, you can provide the path and training but people have to chose to do it.
    What happen if they don’t want that training?

    Like 39
    Dislike 5
  12. Training says:

    Who would refuse anything that is Good I don’t think anyone would.

    Like 7
    Dislike 16
  13. Here is an idea.... says:

    Why not focus on EDUCATION. Put the money there. Help to raise a nation of children people WANT to hire instead of trying to strongarm businesses into hiring adults who are not suitable. Spend more on educating our children so that the BVI develops a reputation of producing intelligent, hardworking individuals.

    Like 77
    Dislike 1
  14. God ? says:

    I understand that you must defend the rights of your people, but you are exceeding a bit, you know what are the reasons why many locals are not given jobs is because of their bad attitudes, irresponsibility, disorders and a lot of other things, not all of them are like that I go back and repeat but many of the only ones who know how to say I from here, God keep you and take care of you Mr W…….. you are separating many families and for God that is the main thing do not play with Fire that you can burn yourself and your island God does not sleep and is monitoring the steps of all governments for their racism. you accept everything for whites

    Like 18
    Dislike 8
  15. VG Resident says:

    If the problem is the amount of a persons salary, maybe the local needs to ask less in order to get the job.

    Like 16
    Dislike 3
  16. Get it? says:

    Sir if this intimidating policy of “locals asking for more” cannot push well with businesses then teach your locals to be CONTENT. Try it for once then you will see the HARMONY. In the contrary encourage them to create their own business. Like be a CEO for once. And better understand what caribbean businesses go through.No employee should demand more than what the company can afford or what is stipulated in the contract.

    Like 27
    Dislike 3
  17. Mad Max says:

    I work at a company that would always hire locals first. It is cheaper and easier with no bond or WP issue.

    If this really is the issue that he says, deal with it properly not through anecdotes that fuel issues between expats and locals.

    With regard to the ice cream parlour. We can all see there were reasons why they wanted to hire the person (who happened to be an expat) after 2 local hires did not work out.

    Like 31
    Dislike 1
  18. Choices says:

    BVI locals have lots of choices for employment in the entire world. It’s tough everywhere now with the virus pandemic but there is still plenty of work for young educated energetic persons outside of the BVI. Just put your qualifications out there, line up some interviews or trial work sessions, fly there and go to work. What’s the problem?

    Like 8
    Dislike 7
  19. outer island says:

    we have advertised about 20 times looking for staff and the only local applicant wanted to name her own hours she was available to work and on what days. That was the only applicant from the local population we have had in more than 5 years as our business grew from mom and pop to where we are today.

    I wish we could get locals for full time jobs, we do employ locals who have other jobs part time at night time, this is the problem we encounter on the outer island, I wish labour dept would send me 18 applicants I asked directly and the answer was ” oh nobody wants to work over there”

    Like 26
    Dislike 2
  20. Sad says:

    What is sad about this situation is that the VIP Government got into office and met a properly functioning YES program that was set up by NDP with Hon. Walwyn leading the charge. This program was set up for the very reason that this Minister is complaining about now. Why was the program discontinued? That is the real question! The Minister or Government cannot demand that businesses hire who Labour or anyone else wants, without trying to understand the needs of businesses. Not all locals are lazy and not all expats are good workers but it’s not as simple as that. There are many variables and dynamics that come into play when people are trying to hire the right person for a job. From being a team player, attitude, consistency, tardiness etc. We need to partner with the private sector and stop this bully mentality which will get us nowhere. Sadly, the irony is that the Government services is the PERFECT EXAMPLE of just hiring for hiring sake, we have 3,000 civil servants, but still need to hire a bunch of consultants. How has that served us over the years? Stop talking and be sensible, sit with businesses and let’s solve the problem instead of putting locals against expats and businesses against labor dept.

    Like 43
    Dislike 2
  21. Expat says:

    With qualified WP holders in higher positions not being let in we cannot train!

    Like 13
    Dislike 6
  22. No nonsense says:

    As a female BVILANDERS at 12yrs old I was exposed to tourism on the northside of the BVI. WE as children was thought from our house hold the importance of work and the tourist $$. It existed nextdoor and a mile left and right of us. The household worked the trade in all aspects!!In Caymans and Barbados, every ONE is taught, breathes and exhale the importance of the tourist $$. Who teaches us the importance of it here?? Not even the students have an appreciation for it even though the working class in their households works in this sector. All of that to say “the bvi work culture must change” a bit late now but never.What else do we have to offer for survival??

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  23. @Good Value says:

    I agree with you 100% but I will also add this, how many hard working locals with positive attitudes do you think are unemployed for any extended period? Most locals I know that tick the right boxes get opportunities or they do what they can until they get what they want. These Ministers need to get on the ground and see what’s happening instead of sitting in cabinets in their dark suits making up stupid rules and laws without any idea of what the real situations are.

    Like 32
    Dislike 2
  24. Anonymous says:

    The problem starts with the Public Sector. Where most of the top jobs are neither locals or belonger because of political rivalry. Our people must be educated to now own their own businesses so as to develop their country. Furthermore, we must start with Government investing more in locals for small businesses and marketing those who has the perpencity to develop locally and harness other locals in training for relevant positions. Stop pointing fingers when the problem relies in educating your own to be successful business men and woman to control the market. Check the law firms, the accounting firms, the Government, banks. Insurance companies and the entire BVI workforce market and then tell me the statistic of foreign companies with high paying jobs to foreigners. Then ask me how much money is exported out of our island and how much is saved for development process.

    Like 10
    Dislike 4
  25. IME says:

    1. Hiring expats is more expensive than hiring local.
    2. Training is expensive and a waste of time if the employee leaves or doesn’t come to work.
    3. Often receive zero applications from locals
    4. Many locals have limited world experience and poor attitudes toward authority.
    5. We prefer to hire local if qualified, many don’t want the work or have qualifications for the position.
    6. Most businesses want the best team possible and don’t care what race, passport or name they have

    Like 42
    Dislike 3
  26. The Nation says:

    Not all the time Mr Minister..some people just tired of hearing “I FROM HAY” when you try to get the local to function professionally and to an acceptable standard

    Like 27
    Dislike 4
  27. Expatriados voy poner esto delante de la onu says:

    I understand that you must defend the rights of your people, but you are exceeding a bit, you know what are the reasons why many locals are not given jobs is because of their bad attitudes, irresponsibility, disorders and a lot of other things, not all of them are like that I go back and repeat but many of the only ones who know how to say I from here, God keep you and take care of you Mr Whetlay you are separating many families and for God that is the main thing do not play with Fire that you can burn yourself and your island God does not sleep and is monitoring the steps of all governments for their racism. you accept everything for whites

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  28. Anyways says:

    When will the government begin to hire from the outside? Im seeing a lot of “internal reassignments” for many departments and most departments have a lot of vacancies that are never filled when someone leaves. There are many people that need jobs, can fill these spots quite easily, and are ready to get the tasks done promptly and correctly.

  29. Care. says:

    Some bvilanders dont like they own people jealously is a big big problem .so its not expats alone they lives inside of them.its spreding like the virus sad to say.another thing expats bvi belong to bvilanders why you fighting them for be thankful for what your allowd here.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  30. Minimum wage says:

    The BVI i needs to set minimum wages because some companies still have people work 5/6 dollars an hour. Imagine being a local full time receptionist / office administrator and getting paid 1000$ a month for a company that is making thousands of dollars a day. What can you really do with that if you have a lot going on? Why would anybody even want to stay there?

    Also the labor department should have a system in place (if they don’t) so that when people become unemployed, they would have critical information as to why they did from the employee and the employer.
    Then they can decide how to help the person to become better at what they do for their next job with whatever trainings or they can train the employer because some employers don’t even know how to treat their staff and then wonders why the staff have this don’t care attitude.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  31. Hope says:

    Mr Wheatley, this statement is foolish and so out of touch with reality. Education is key and we are 3 yrs after the storms that destroyed this place but still we don’t have all the schools back 100%.
    Most of the local kids that are not employed simply dont want to be employed and believe they are owed something for nothing! This is where the problem lies and simply forcing businesses to hire locals because they are local will not help this country. Start at the route of the problem and stop with the band aids. Put some money into this countries youth before it’s too late. Better sports, recreation and education centers would be a good start. The children are the future but they need to be ready to face it head on and well educated. That part is our responsibility and blaming ambitious people that are invested in the growth of this country already isn’t the answer. People are just people and they all want to survive on this planet the best they can! Let’s treat all people the same and stop with this Belonger/Expat BS. If the current world situation tells us anything it is. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Regardless of Race, Religion or Nationality!!!

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
  32. Smh says:

    So it really took one person to put they foot down an close they business for them to see just how much of a problem this country has with local hires. Is no secret to none of these politicians as may of them have businesses that employs expats for the very same reasons.. You do have quite a few locals who a driven work hard willing to start from scratch and grow.. Then you have the entitled brats who feels as if they should demand what they want or don’t peform accordingly because of pay. I honestly feel if that’s the attitude your going to have go an work for yourself. While it’s more costly to hire outside business owners prefer to do this as most of the ppl residing comes from nothing and will work hard to keep the opportunity giving to them.. Its simple when you think about it the BVI ppl many of them never had to lift a finger to do nothing cause mommy and daddy provides majority still lives home an don’t even know what a utility bill looks like.. You raise youths with no sense of responsibility how you expect them to succeed in the work force where actual work an labour is required? I am a BVILander growing up for a time life was unicorns and rainbows till it wasn’t at a young age I had to adapt to my reality that the good life was gone the jobs I looked down on others for I ended up having to do.. I worked my way back up seeing both sides.. We do have a problem around here with our people and I do hope this is a wake up call for many.. Put the pride an entitled behaviours aside and get with the program and work for what you want a hard earned dollar you will value cause you work your ass off for it.

    Like 23
    Dislike 2
  33. would like to kmow says:

    please define expat for us because the white people dont come to work for less than the locals
    this is surely an address to down islanders as we are called.
    Sad really sadd

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  34. HUH! says:

    It is ok to ask foreign owned businesses to hire at least 60% locals, and to have local managers and supervisors but it is not ok to expect locally owned businesses to have to hire locals. We need to be able to bring in foreign workers with skills, a good work ethic and good customer services in order that we can compete. Don’t make life difficult for locally owned businesses by making us hire local staff.

    Like 8
    Dislike 6
  35. :) says:

    Just because 2 or 20 locals didn’t work out doesn’t justify seeking out an expat. If the logic is that locals are worse than expats then that is bigotry. That’s the same type of attitude that have racism going strong in the USA. Skill and performance have nothing to do where someone was born. So to try and fix an issue by hiring someone that isn’t from here or thinking that someone that is not from here will perform better than a local is the same mindset that brews racism.

    Like 11
    Dislike 8
  36. Crime says:

    Every one… business, govt and locals need to address this before it becomes a problem. Govt take steps to change the culture of locals acting like they don’t understand that they will be judged by their performance/attitude. Businesses you are apart of a community. Locals do better

    Don’t fix this problem crime can become an issue for every one!!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  37. Belonger says:

    Mr. Minister! Please talk with the business owners and see what the problem is. I don’t think money is at the heart of the issue because it’s costly to bring in someone, businesses have to pay work permit fees plus have to go through a lot of stress to employ an expat.
    There must be more to it than what meets the eye. Go and talk to the people Minister.

    Like 4
    Dislike 5
  38. Indee says:

    Less labour cost? You can’t or shouldn’t pay someone lower than minimum wage soo…..

  39. The bum busqual says:

    Only now,locals could have dominated the corporate bvi long time rather than people flying in to fill positions in the trust companies when they arise.also workers with qualifications and experience moving up in positions and opening lower positions for the new graduates.

  40. Locals says:

    Locals are lazy, racist, lazy, obnoxious, lazy, uneducated, lazy, no morals, lazy and just plain useless. Oh did I mention lazy? Want businesses to hire locals then change the way the locals are brought up and educated. Otherwise, do the right ting and bring the down islanders that want to work and leave this nonsense alone.

    Like 7
    Dislike 6
  41. Good! says:

    When Hon. Walwyn got up in HOA and told locals to get serious because laws alone cannot protect them, this is what he was talking about. But everyone twisted and turned his statement because of politics, now look at us? All he was saying is that you can pass all the laws you want regarding employment but when private business is not satisfied with what you bring to the table, your BVI Passport or Belonger Card will not save you, this is what the man was saying but we are so childish and stupid here we didn’t get it. Now everyone is pretending to give a f*** but this issue has been around for a long time but COVID will truly spring some of these companies in action and guess who will suffer? LOCALS!

    Like 9
    Dislike 2
  42. Wow says:

    So the Minister makes such a broad statement and doesn’t give any statistics? How many locals are unemployed? For how long? In what fields? What qualifications? What are the reasons hampering them from getting a job? Is it the employee doesn’t think the pay or job is enough? You cannot make these statements without data to back it up. On what basis are you saying it’s a challenge? Most locals are employed so what is this man talking about?

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  43. Bingybusqualbumboomboomboom says:

    In school we learned about tourism,the definition of it,the hospitality industry,bvi history. Why as locals we weren’t shown the way to own businesses in our tourism industry. There was always a trend implanted in our minds to be the least among the choosen. In this time it’s very complicated to reverse that cycle when employers wanna be careful and they’re aware of labouring people, different prices, nationalities etc. Leaders you all are making hindering technical stance right now and be very careful with your upcoming laws,at the end of the day you need the balance of everyone in the bvi to be happy and comfy. Any developing nation and wealthy economies depends on outsiders so get that fine line balance right. Over and out meet me on the sand come get a pull for clarity

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  44. Cut and paste says:

    Where is the statistics. This a lie and he know it.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  45. @ Locals says:

    Thanks you, but you are so wrong about locals. See, you may think such, and post such vile untruths on media, but that does not make it truth. What is true is your evident vile and moronic hatred for the local.

    Sadly, we mingle with you everyday and not even know there is a serpent in you in our midst.

    For example, are you industious, delightful,racially diverse oriented and educated? Were you brought up in a morally upright, clean and just oriented home? Highly unlikely…But assuedly, the local was still is.

    Lest, you are a complete moron to use the “Local” to represent you filth. That alone represent a devious and demented mentality, of evil immorality and deciet. Clearly, you are not local, but probably a racist devil from a viper den across the horizon.

    Fortunately, if locals are so lazy, who built this territory? You and yours? Go on and be the ungrateful, racist b*****d that you are.

    For the record, there is not one local from my generation, going all the way back, bondage days, post bondage to present, is neither lazy or racist. In fsct, the/we continue to be victims of racism.

    They built this territory’s economy from nothing to where today it is considered rich. Did you contribue to that growth? No! But you want to come in here, full your belly, and then post your filthy mind all over media.

    Like 5
    Dislike 6
  46. My says:

    concern as an educator and deep love for my country is the following:

    1) why has there been no money, will and priority to fix our schools within the last three years?

    2) why has there been no initiatives to upgrade our curriculums.

    3) why are some teachers still not paid increment after a full career.

    4) why is the teaching salay srill so small.

    But, there was monies to be found to the tunr of trillions of dollares now, when all added up, for frivilous non production or productive contracts and hundreds of other ontracts of questionable worth, value and cost that has produced nothing bur a media sound bite, then like a fart in the wind it and the thousands disappear in th wind.

    Meanwhile, the schools are delapidated, udersurrported, underfinanced, unkept and underfunded.

    Our raods are a national disgrace and an embarrassment. An onion skin was put down three years as an appeasement to voters. It worked for one party, and against th next.

    However, with current mis-prioritize spending, no work on infrastructure, lask of interest and attention to education matters, outstanding frievious teacher greivances, ad many others, the next election could very well bring another change in seaech of better.

    The island is too small to walk around and ask people for their vote, get elected, and then become blind, feaf and dumb to them and their needs, wants and problems while in office. Then come four years later, you did nothing for me, my country, community, eduction, roads and other, but you come looking for another vote.

    Beeliving the same type of shinanigans for descages. Time to end it.

    When we go to the classroom, we have to and do produce. Why then shoul a trained professional be denied his earned increments and appropriate salary for am entire thirty five years?

    That is how we treat our own, sadly.

  47. Ting to talk says:

    I have a small business. I want to make a dollar you think I am going to hire a b*++++d that would decide to come work when they want and leave when they feel like . And I have to pay them.hell no. LAZY .Come work with weed in their pockets. Wasting time in social media for . H*ll no .

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  48. Untrue says:

    Thats not true Mr. Minister and you know it. All business wether a foreign one or local one prefer the locals because they do not have to go through the whole work permit process. Processing a work permit is a lot if things the businesses have to get so hiring a local is so much less stress on them.

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
  49. Human being! says:

    The Minister knows that attitude is the biggest factor when it comes to the locals. They are full of hatred for the expats. So, why would anyone especially foreign businesses be willing to employ them. That hatred needs to stop and you’ll have a much better BVI. So Minister, work on that, I believe and knows that you means well.

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  50. Human being! says:

    The Minister knows that attitude is the biggest factor when it comes to the locals. They are full of hatred for the expats. So, why would anyone especially foreign businesses be willing to employ them. That hatred needs to stop and you’ll have a much better BVI. So Minister, work on that, I believe and knows that you means well. Peace, love and togetherness.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  51. VIslander says:

    If it really is that businesses prefer not to hire locals because of their attitude and work ethics then I’d say the country has failed our people. The country has failed itself. The whole purpose of public education is to create competent workers so if that isn’t the result the education system needs to be reevaluated.

    I’d also blame the parents who create a lot of don’t care adults by indulging their kids in wrong from the time they were young and not showing enough interest in their kids. School starts at a certain time and has a uniform and a lot of parents don’t care if their kids are on time and in uniform, much less if they did their homework or prepared for class. That attitude just permeates all facets of life. Late for meetings, late for family functions, late for church, late for everything.

    As a matter of fact, the whole country has a don’t care attitude. Growing up, the high school band concert was literally the only thing that started in time. This attitude feeds into the culture of lawlessness in the Virgin Islands. We don’t respect ourselves or each other enough to take pride in anything and do anything well.

    If you want to eat bread, you first have to bake it. To make bread you need flour. To make flour you need wheat. To get wheat you have to plant it. The government wants to eat bread but no wheat has been planted.

    Here we are with an initiative to hire Virgin Islanders but no foundation has been laid. You can’t just go around telling business owners to do this and do that or else while pretending like they don’t have legitimate concerns. It’s just not right.

    To see your vision come to fruition, you first have to plant seeds.

    That is if V. Islanders aren’t fit to work in the V.I.


    The next issue I want to address is expats being abused and exploited for labour. If attitudes aren’t the problem, Virgin Islanders still have a hard time competing in the work force because we know our rights. We know we can walk away but several expats came here to work and make a better life for themselves. They are genuinely afraid of being forced to go home so they dont complain but we should be ashamed to willingly turn a blind eye to their abuse. The lawlessness in the country really needs to stop. It’s hurting and impeding everyone. Virgin Islanders don’t get hired because they can’t be manipulated and expats get conned and bullied into conditions they didn’t agree to and then get threatened and silenced. They don’t bother filing reports because they know it either will get ignored or the boss will find out and make their life worse.

    How many expats here are being paid fair wages? Working the hours they were told they would work, with overtime for extra, doing only the tasks their job description said they would be doing, getting paid the extact amount they were promised? How many expats get NHI and SS taken out of their paycheck only to find out their boss hasn’t paid these things in months?

    And what becomes of the ones who violate the labour code and break the law? Nothing. If money and profit are your priority and you knew nothing would happen to you for breaking the law, wouldn’t you be more willing to do just that? Only a fool would be hiring a Virgin Islander when they could instead be hiring an expat at a cheaper cost and get away with abusing and stealing from that expat.

    I’m a proud V. Islander and sometimes I wonder what the hell is wrong with us. A place full of Christians and we dont fear judgement. Not just from God but from our fellow human beings as well. We are a tourist destination. Imagine the scorn and condemnation when the rest of the world catches on to the BS that happens here. If anything, we should care about doing right by all people in the country so we can have a shot at a sustainable future. In a moralistic world all this lawlessness, greed and divisions would just turn people off from coming.

    I applaud the government for trying to put country first but you can’t begin to treat an illness if you see each symptom individually and can’t see how they are connected.

    The home and family lives of our citizens need more diligence. The education system needs to be reformed to make more competent workers. The national pride levels need to be raised. The country needs a clearer vision. We need to have more respect for the laws and each other. Everyone, citizens, belongers,residents and expats all need equal protection under the law. My rights can’t be preserved if the rights of my fellow man are being violated and ignored.

    Like 12
  52. @ Human Beings says:

    My experience expose me to a vast majority of how other Caribbean Nationals view the natives of the BVI and the BVI as a country. It’s not pleasant to say the least. When these conversations are taking place I simply recuse myself because I does be out numbered, and I can feel the enviousness. At some point they cease when they remember I am a native.

    They dislike BVI Islanders simply for being born in the BVI. They dislike the BVI simply because it is a quite place and provide the natives with opportunities they want. That’s where the problem is. They want what is rightfully the native birthright and believe that it is limited, which cause them to refer to the natives as lazy and all kinds of derogative terms because the natives tend to do things at a steady pace versus with a gimme gimme, it going soon done attitude.

    Like 8
    Dislike 5
  53. Norris Turnbull says:

    Government don’t like to hire certain local people either Mr.Wheatley. You need to address that also. Talk all, you are an elected representative.

  54. Interesting says:

    There are more than one ways to look at this situation. It depends as well on the industry we are referring to:

    Locals for one do not want to do certain jobs.

    In the Financial Services Industry, some companies can get away with hiring work permit holders for clerical positions by giving the jobs fancy titles and actually use locals to train these persons. So if locals can train you, locals can do the job.

    I work for an organization that has more locals than work permit holders and we believe in training and development. If Companies are interested in localizing the workforce they can do so by participating in more training and development. There should always be a local to understudy a senior hired with a work permit.

    If the “locals” are not interested in their own personal development (sad to say) there’s no other choice for the businesses but to hire outside, but the businesses must be in a better position to demonstrate their training efforts and not just say on a work permit application form that the job was advertised

  55. HonestTruth says:

    When they say ‘local people’ they really mean BVIslanders of african heritage. They don’t mean ALL the locals.

  56. Bad Attitude says:

    I once interviewed a local who spent the whole interview on his cell phone texting. Another Interview the young woman had to go out side to take a call from her friend. Another interview i could smell the ganja so heavy it made me ill, Another Interview the woman asked how many breaks she get…

  57. Apart from the usual says:

    arguments back and forth, consider: what is Belonger kids want to do something other than financial services or tourism?
    That’s normal but we don’t have a big enough economy to sustain other businesses well. RT looks third world. Only by working together across the population can we grow the BVI and take advantage of some of our potential. We are currently missing this with these silly squabbles and clients are heading off to other places along with people who have invested years in business and family life here over the years.

    Name that place, particularly a small island, where they don’t need a blend of local and imported skills and numbers of people. I’ll wait. Cayman and Singapore are way ahead and they have controlled importation of Labour where those over 5-10 years there are given sufficient tenure to invest more benefiting local economy and country stability, actually reducing the future expats numbers required.

  58. Norris Turnbull says:

    @Bad Attitude… Thats a lie straight from h**l. God will punish you. Your post is wholly biased and you want to talk s**t about local people.

  59. down2earth says:

    May I respectfully address the besmirching of the Virgin Islander by saying this? 1. Immigrants, no matter their origin, would not do the same work in their homeland as in a foreign country – even in the UK and USA. 2. Throughout the world immigrants are exploited by their employers. 3. Mr. Wheatley is correct … locals (I am mindful here that their are those immigrants who are often thought to be locals)
    though quiet, often would not be pushed around.

  60. Building the VI says:

    There is a lot of talk about building the BVI. The big question is who is it being built for? One blogger said that there are lot of oppotunities out in the world for Virgin Islanders to put their applications out there, but if Virgin Islanders are going to be descriminated against in their country then let us start over. All expats should leave and let us start over on a smaller scale. Expats are punishing Virgin Islanders and getting away with it
    because they are out numbered. It is urgent that this needs to be rectified. It is a sell out. Other countries Government sold them out. So everybody is fulling up here and because the locals are loving and kind these aggresive people are taking advantage and they are boastful about it too. If this situation is not address pronto it is going to get worse.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  61. Skoolin says:

    Perhaps the learned Minister ought to consider pointing out the BVI government’s complete lack of emphasis on education. Professional engineering, medical, legal and accountancy positions don’t gravitate to those that have merely stuck-it-out through high school. Managerial roles go to folks that have skills. Just like professionals such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers and stone masons are for people that have acquired those invaluable skills.
    This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long term goal. The Minister needs to look towards our future.

  62. Hello says:

    What he is not saying is how many bvi/ belongers are employed by Government ? A Young person leaving school does not have the necessary qualifications to enter the work force especially in a small business where experience or specific skills are necessary and immediately required.
    Bvi islanders don’t like to work for minimum wages. You can’t give them wrong.

Leave a Comment