BVI News

Number of persons terminated from jobs quadruples since May

The number of persons who were terminated from their jobs has quadrupled in the last three months.

Back in early May, Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley said in national broadcast that 72 persons throughout the territory were terminated since the advent of COVID-19.

Fast-forward to August and that number now stands at 294, which represents more than four times what it was three months ago.

Wheatley said another 1,263 workers across the territory have been laid off. 

A total of 10,694 persons make up the territory’s workforce and 8,962 have retained employment. Of that number, 175 persons were not categorised, the minister stated in a recent video interview.

85% of local business now operational

The minister said roughly 85 percent of all local businesses in the territory are now operational since the internal reopening of the economy.

“Right now we have on our books 942 operational businesses. [The number of businesses that are] non-operational [is] 171.”

Of the total 1,113 businesses, 972 are on Tortola, 94 on Virgin Gorda, 24 on Jost Van Dyke, 13 on Anegada and 10 on the other islands within the territory.

Less than 30 percent of BVI’s workforce are locals

It has been a well-known fact that non-locals made up most of the territory’s labour force but the latest count has shown that less than 30 percent of the territory’s workforce are BVIslanders or Belongers.

Wheatley said that as of August, 6,186 of the 10,694-person workforce are work permit holders, 3,161 are BVIslanders or Belongers, 926 are work permit-exempted holders and 421 are persons not properly categorised.

To put things into perspective, this means that nearly 67 percent of the BVI’s workforce consists of work permit holders and work permit exempted holders.


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  1. FACT says:

    That means how much is the government making from work permit renewals a year? Exactly

    Like 35
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  2. Private sector says:

    If you take out the huge number of belongers ‘working’ In the public sector, then the numbers are even more startling.

    Like 22
  3. Be productive says:

    If you’re interested go to to get the numbers. Do some back of the napkin math and blog it.

    Thank you

  4. hmmm says:

    How did they compile these numbers? How many on reduced hours and reduced pay?? The terminated number is way tooo low.

    Like 15
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  5. wondering says:

    When are we going to realize how frightening this information is? When is the BVI going to wake up?

    Like 18
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  6. Wow says:

    For once a set of satistics seemingly correct and making sense, but the result is not surprising. Non Belongers have long known more than 60% of the territories tax and national insurance revenue is derived from work permit holders, who collectively, are reasonable for the functioning of the countries economy.
    Of the 3361 persons deemed belongers,it would be interesting to know how many of these work as civil servants in government and other statutory bodies, hospital, water, electricity, ports, airport, national parks etc. Most I suspect, The real workforce, the engine of your economy, is provided by your ‘guest workers’ !

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  7. Hmmmm says:

    Where is the surprise?? Businesses cannot operate with borders closed so they must terminate and those that are doing little business are not hiring.

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  8. BVIslander says:

    Many BVIslanders have dual citizenship and have opportunities outside of the BVI. We have quite a few qualified locals working abroad, many of whom would never return here because of the opportunities they have outside of the BVI. Why are we surprised that a 24 sq mile island with about 12,000 locals and booming with financial services/tourism business, has more expat workers than local? The nature of our pillars and our size is the reason for this, there’s nothing to be alarmed about. Add to that, Government has more than 15% of the locals hired, what do you expect?

    Like 24
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  9. vip heckler says:

    Well do something because your boss promised us 1000 jobs in 1000 days

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  10. Easy says:

    Majority of those are tourist/marine based jobs. If you count the yachting industry and hotels/resorts that’s about 800 plus.

  11. @ Wondering says:

    I do not think the problem is whether we realizing or not, I think we acknowledge but without a clear plan or idea then it will come off as not realizing.

    So lets get the ball rolling, what ideas do you suggest so we can “wake up?”

  12. Fahie are you reading this? says:

    So over 60 percent of the work force is not local.

    So the next time you talk about tax payers paying for certain expenses I am sure you take into account it the work permit holders who you are talking about.

    Oh, and Vincenzio… Quit talking down on work permit holders all the time.

    Like 24
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  13. I FROM HERE says:

    Imagine two cruise ships sailing in to pick up the 6186 work permit holders and sailing off into the sunset.Job done. Close down labour and immigration and inland revenue departments as they will not be needed any more, Then time to relax and enjoy peace and Paradise in the Sun. Relax brother, smoke the weed and sip the rum, We from here !

    Like 18
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  14. Doh says:

    I call bulls**t.

    Charter company job losses are easily over 500 persons. Fact. So is this guy smoking weed and fudging numbers? State propaganda at it’s best

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  15. Scrub Islanders staff says:

    Open back the boarders so we can wuk!

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  16. The Nation says:

    The Government and Labour need to look into the treatment of employees now on the disguise of COVID- some being forced to sign unreasonable contracts to keep their job…some employers want to put all the risk of COVID on the employee…and cat eat your dinner if you on work permit…this work permit system is used as a big tool of oppression.

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  17. Keep says:

    Keep the tourists, the yacht owners and the Villa owners away and you are all going to die. That is of course unless you are of the present government or the former. They have access to plenty that they have been taking. Good luck in your future. Trump is the best President the US has ever seen. That goodness Obama is gone.

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  18. And still says:

    We still waiting for the simulus package promised by you through the social security board. We have children to take of and until now they cannot say whether you qualify or not

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  19. Smh says:

    Yet the government is not hiring outsiders. Pure internal reassignments on the government site. When they are many youths and graduates from HLSCC and high school that are looking for jobs.

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  20. Lockdown says:

    The next lockdown wont be for COVID it will be to reduce theft!

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  21. Waiting says:

    Have not read much about the 1000 jobs in a 1000 days promise lately. Around 550 days gone since 25 Feb. 2019 so the promise runs out of time in November 2021! Maybe the VIP will lose 1000 jobs in a 1000 days.

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  22. @Smh says:

    What jobs are they looking for? Those of us who graduated in the 80s and 90s took the jobs we could get and climbed the ladder. Now everyone with a piece of certificate want to be the manager on day one and getting big pay, that’s the problem. Most of the local senior persons and managers at banks, law firms, trust companies they worked from filing clerk/messenger/teller straight up the ranks and didn’t use their passport/birth paper as a ladder or crutch. The attitudes are the problem and it’s not just a BVI thing, its global with this new generation of entitled f***ing pricks!

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  23. ? says:

    Laughing my fat behind off!

  24. Islandgirl says:

    So 3000 belonger workers. Maybe 1500 employed by govt (cost not income). Do the maths. Belongers living on the backs of others but treating us like something on the sole of our shoes

    We can’t breathe.

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  25. Go Home says:

    We dont live on the backs of no one. If you feel a way about being here please take the next flight out. We are not begging you to be here. How are you going to come to someones country and say such things. Can I come to your house then say your living off my back. Please leave.

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  26. Truth says:

    Well its d truth accept it..u guys living of d labour of outsiders and want to treat dem like s**t and like they dont have right to be treated as a human being .just because they not from your country

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  27. Careful what you wish for says:

    Some businesses are indeed moving people elsewhere to jurisdictions that garner more confidence from clients and where the workforce will not feel harassed and second class.

    The 60+ per cent generally just want to have a peaceful life in a successful and harmonious BVI where Belongers are gainfully employed and content. They are not here to take anything at all. A few will have a long term approach to building and retaining business here and it is normal to expect to be able to have a home and a family without insecurity after a reasonable period (5-10 years, not 20). Until BVi just gets past that simple concept, as Belongers would expect when they go elsewhere for work, the economy here will continue to be weak as our competitor jurisdictions flourish and diversify. And BVI children’s options will dwindle.

    Like 3
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  28. Sad time are coming for BVI says:

    Funny how Mr Wheatley won’t stand for a threat (which it wasn’t) from Mr Ice cream man but has no problem threatening others.

    Also, get your facts correct Mr Wheatley. You can’t act all tough and smart when you keep reporting untrue information and stop pulling numbers/statistics out of thin air. Come better.

    I always believe BVIslanders should have first preference in jobs, but you just can’t place somebody in a position because they from here.

    Keep the threats coming and businesses will be done with you and the territory. New virus, Jobvid-21, The Exodus.

    I always liked you but you have changed and not in a good way.
    Power Feeds the evil. Be a leader, not a bossy.

    Like 3
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  29. LOCAL says:

    I don’t understand how work permit expats are still out of job yet so many visitors still here and working!! so tell me something the set expats currently here on work permit but not currently working now I guess you guys lazy also then? or wont work the money the expats visitors working currently for?

  30. East side says:

    The VIP is mashing up the bvi

  31. informed says:

    The question not answered is how many Belongers are out of work.

    from this 70% 30% ratio we need to find 4124 Belongers to make the 70% Belongers employed.

    I think the 70% Belongers ratio is unachieveble as there are not that many people working for work. The Government must be lining up to reduce their work force.

    Watch this space?

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