BVI News

No options | Young locals prefer to be cab drivers abroad than return to BVI

Dancia Penn

Independent Territorial At-Large candidate Dancia Penn has said the limited employment options in the British Virgin Islands is driving young locals towards the preference of becoming taxi operators in the United States.

The young locals she was referring to were those who have studied abroad and are now trained to enter the workforce.

“Young qualified professionals from our diaspora are telling me they would rather drive Uber in New York, than return here. We must change this. We must open up opportunities locally,” Penn said.

Invest in digital economy to bring back youth

In a media release on Wednesday — one day ahead of advanced polling — Penn proposed to have subtantial investment made in what is known as the digital economy.

The former legislator believes such investment would attract young locals back to the BVI.

“The beauty of the digital economy is that it facilitates trade for everyone including artists and engineers,” Penn explained.

“‘We are traditionally a maritime nation. We used to trade with our neighbours. The digital space is just another sea. In the modern world, if we do not invest properly in our digital infrastructure we will miss out, and shut off opportunities commonly available elsewhere, particularly for our younger generation.”

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18 Comments

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  1. Hmmmm says:

    This is such BS! Many of our young locals have dual citizenship and can choose wherever they want to live their lives. I don’t know of anyone with BVI Citizenship fighting to go to the US or anywhere else to work on permits. I am sure you will find that majority of ‘locals’ living in the US in particular are either US Citizens as well or hold their Green Card. Stop the fear mongering and get off the stage, your time is up.

    Like 27
    Dislike 14
    • @ hmmm says:

      you are so right. not to mention that over 16,000 work permits are issued every year.

      we dont need to creat more jobs, our poeple just need to work. we have 16,000 jobs.

      Like 20
      Dislike 2
    • Ha says:

      The biggest joker of the pack as willy Nelson say you got to know when to fold so lady u got to know when you time is up and bow out east people have sence to know you time up .you had your chance n u blow it bye bye

      Like 9
      Dislike 4
    • @hmmmm says:

      Not because you dont know anyone mean that it’s not true….. I personally know persons who went to the states on student visas and now work in shoe stores etc after graduating because they dont wanna come back to stagnant BVI!

  2. Please says:

    You had the chance to do things for our young when you were a minister but did very little. Enjoy your retirement

    Like 23
    Dislike 3
  3. Well says:

    If you want to go “Digtal” we need great Internet service first of all to go there,

    Like 33
    • Agreed ......... says:

      Amen! But this is the ignorant stuff we have to listen to from these dinosaurs! We DO NOT have the infrastructure to keep up with the first world! The reasons why – is because of people that honourable speaking here that did not have the vision to take our country forward and just milked it for their benefit.

      Go back in your cave and use your rotary phone! Set of jokes.

      Like 16
      Dislike 4
  4. Gandalf says:

    What a drama queen! Shut your mouth and come about again. This is total nonsense and most of us are still sick of you for you worthless stint at Deputy Premier, and Attorney General before that. How you’ve received the honours you have, no one will ever know! Say something of substance for once.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  5. Just my two cents says:

    Take what I tell you. If she don’t become premier like she think she is entitle too she will lobby hard for the UK to take over. She trying to act like our savior when really and truly she aint no better than the rest.

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  6. Wild west says:

    How about trying to reduce crime so citizens can feel safe to live here and also for those abroad to return home?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  7. Lame says:

    As one of those professionals abroad who won’t return, I can tell Dancia Penn and all the politicians that it is NOT lack of investment why we prefer to stay abroad. It is the Government’s and BVI Local society’s treatment their own that makes us leave (or don’t come Home at all). The basic attitude towards professionals is shameful.

    Like 15
    • BVI says:

      Dp Please address the issues in full clarity
      – BVI has been hostile toward locals. Everyone else can shout from the mountain top where they from but locals must cower in fear. The one thing locals might have is the apartments which YOU SAY you will address high rents which in high rents don’t exist,what exists is people seeking to live above their means because there are levels and locations of apartments for everyone. you cannot tell people what to sell cheese bread eggs or apartment for, so stop trying to fool voters.

      What YOU and others need to address is
      -all the venders in our market running big time operations with emoloyees, selling imported food as organic and doing so Rentless and without health inspections and food handler licenses on PUBLIC property. .
      -the thousands of young filipinos coming into the BVI taking BVI jobs.
      -Immigration and labor policies

  8. Lame says:

    Example. There was a big hurricane. There was lots of damage to the BVI. What was the Government’s response? They brought in foreign decision makers and then opened up bidding for architecture, engineering and construction companies “worldwide”. That was such an opportunity for local professionals to return Home. It was such an opportunity for local builders and practitioners to develop and grow. But instead, the Government in effect told us that if we want to work in the BVI we had better be part of a ‘Worldwide’ company. Dancia may get my vote, but on this issue she is talking utter nonsense. The BVI Governement and BVI Locals need to change their attitude towards its own professionals to make us want to come home and stay. We need less ” outside” investment, not more. How about if WE invest in OURSELVES? If we will invest in internet technology to be able to work worldwide, why not just immigrate worldwide then?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  9. yeah, right says:

    Like the taxi man here gonna let some young gun take over their biz. Maybe they ain’t coming back because there’s no room for them here. Maybe they ain’t coming back because they feel there’s better living elsewhere.

  10. E. Leonard says:

    The BVI is not unique in its challenges in retaining trained professionals, especially professionals who has the option of living and working in developed countries. The VI not the only regional country facing this challenge. There is not a single factor causing this challenge.

    The BVI is a small locale (59 square mile, spread over 36 islands, islets, cays and rocks) with a small economy (average annual government budget of $300M; approx $1B GDP). Government by necessity is a major employer(~3000); this is a commonality among small developing countries, ie, Caribbean/Atlantic, Pacific…….etc. Further, the VI has a service-based economy, ie, tourism and financial services.

    Some of the factors influencing local trained professionals to stay off ashore include: limited employment opportunity, eg, there is only a few opportunities for electrical engineers; the average pay in developed countries is higher; the conveniences and lifestyle; the quality of life and standard of living; lower cost of living; more opportunities to use and hone skillsets; stiff competition for few prized jobs, more recreational opportunities for families……..etc. Despite the sand, sea and sun; slow, easy going and no hurry lifestyle; relative tranquility, vs the attractions to stay offshore, IMO it is a labour of love for many young trained professionals to return to Nature’s Little Secret.

    Nonetheless, BVI leaders must view this retention issue as an opportunity, not a problem. As such, leaders must craft plans, policies, procedures, processes………etc to improve the opportunity. The issue is not insurmountable and will take work to alleviate.

    • Disinterested says:

      @E. Leonard, you are a real politician, sitting on the fence. You sanitizing dis ting; keep it real and raw, not varnished. You know that most people do not come back because of the bad mindedness, the jealousy of the dinosaurs, self-hatred, preference of others over qualified locals/own, frustration ……etc. You got experience with this at the Port so you know the deal. Why would a young professional come back to do something that they were not trained for, get abused, not appreciated……..etc? Nuff props to Dancia for shining light on it. But will anything change? We cannot fix the issue if we are looking at the prime ,wrong root cause. Appreciate the effort to keep clean and positive but lets keep it real nah mon. Be brave and call a spade a spade. Not hating my brother, One Love.

  11. CW says:

    When people struggle for basic necessities years after the storms it doesn’t matter what the job market looks like. A better life can be had elsewhere, and not only in the islands. Nobody ever fed their family from “the relaxed pace” of the BVI.

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