BVI News

No more entry-level jobs for expats

Young persons at a job fair in the British Virgin Islands yesterday, June 12

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff

In a bid to employ more young locals, Government said it will be cracking down on employers who are hiring persons from abroad to do entry-level jobs here in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

“We will be monitoring very closely the newspapers and other areas where businesses advertise, to ensure that we are not bringing people from overseas for entry-level positions, but we actually give the young people in the Territory here a chance to take those positions,” said Myron Walwyn, minister with responsibility for youth affairs.

Entry level jobs are those that generally require little knowledge or experience. They also usually come with low pay.

Walwyn, who is also the minister of education, added: “I use the term ‘entry position’ because I don’t want any of you to believe that, because you finish high school or perhaps you have a Bachelor’s degree, you gonna get the biggest job in the organisation. It doesn’t work that way.”

The minister also said persons who are just entering the workforce should do so with an open mind.

He noted that most jobs will require young, inexperienced employees to start at the bottom and work their way up the employment ladder.

“I don’t want you to be discriminatory. Don’t say: ‘I am not gonna do this kind of work; I am not gonna do that,” Walwyn told young job seekers yesterday at the Youth Employment Services’ job fair held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town.

He continued: “You (young job seekers) may not get the job that you want right a way. You might have a particular goal in mind, but there is no straight path to that goal. You gonna have to make some stops along the way and, with every stop that you make, there are some experiences that you will gather that will help you to get to that next job… You have to start somewhere because every job that you learn [and] everything that you do in that workplace gives you additional skills and prepares you for where you want to go.”

Meanwhile, Walwyn’s statement about the hiring of expats for entry-level jobs comes days after another Government legislator Alvera Maduro-Caines urged Government to “take a serious look on how work permits are being issued in [the BVI]”.

She noted that – especially at the end of each school year – too many citizens have a tough time finding jobs in their own country.

“We cannot afford to be sending our children away to school coming back with these Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees, and sit for years without getting a job. So, we have to, as a government, fix this…”

“We have to fix this because a lot of children will be coming home. Not every child that goes away wants to stay away. But some feel they have no choice but to stay, because they come home and they can’t get a job. So I am hoping that this will get sorted out in the near future,” Maduro-Caines told the House of Assembly this month.

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