BVI News

Robust economy to blame for sluggish Labour Department — Premier

Premier Andrew Fahie has insisted that the BVI‘s robust economy is partly to blame for the sluggish turnout of new work permits and renewals from the Labour Department.

Addressing reporters at a press conference last week, Premier Fahie stated: “One of the areas that has created some of the [work permit] backlog that is not said, has been some of the robust way that the economy is rebounding.”

The Premier said there has been an unprecedented number of work permit applications into the Labour Department. However, he also said the government is in the process of discussions on how to arrive at new policies and new strategies to address the issue.

The Premier added: “It’s a good-bad problem to have. It’s bad because you don’t want businesses waiting that long. You want to make sure though, on behalf of the public officers, that due diligence is done. But at the same time, too, it shows that the number of applications has exceeded expectations which shows that it is a good sign for the economy. But now the systems in place have to make some more adjustments.”

He said these adjustments need to be done to expedite certain things and to allow for more efficiency without compromising the integrity of the process.

The Premier declined to indicate whether it was a fact that the Labour Department had indeed been stricken by staffing issues.

Labour crisis?

Pressed on whether the department was actually in crisis as stated by the Labour Minister, Premier Fahie said every government will have some area of concern.

“It’s a crisis that has come out of many different angles,” the Premier said. “It’s not just the angle of staffing, it’s not just the angle of the permits that are coming in. The major concern has now been because of how the economy continues now to blossom. More and more businesses are putting in for more work permits than was previously anticipated which is a plus for the economy.”

He noted the discussions were being had with the Deputy Governor on how to shift resources from other areas of the public service to the Labour Department.

“Whenever you sign up for the public service unless you sign up for specific jobs, one of the things in the [Labour] Code states that you have to be willing to be flexible to work in other areas,” the Premier said.

He added that a pre-COVID-19 mindset could not remain in place. He urged that innovation should prevail instead to arrive at solutions.


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  1. Smooth talker says:

    He always comes up with another excuse why something is not working..the amount of BS this guy can produce!

    Like 60
    Dislike 1
    • LOL says:

      so since is going on for the last 1 1/2 – 2 years the economy has been robust all this time. Wondering where I have been all this time to not see it.

      Like 22
  2. Baloney says:

    Premier, we are not idiots as the economy is NOT robust. The problem at Labour is the minister’s newly introduced rules and regulations coupled by a staff shortage.
    This one term premier makes me sick to my stomach as he never tells the truth and puts spin on every thing.
    Stop talking bull***t when we all know the country broke.

    Like 63
  3. strupes says:

    So this the kind of stupidness that was said over the microphone down in capoon’s bay?

    Like 31
  4. sickening now says:

    More @$$ishness coming out of this man’s mouth

    Like 24
  5. Perfume says:

    There’s a funny smell alright I didn’t think anyone would mistake it for BLOSSOM

    Like 15
  6. Hmmmm says:

    If MOO MOO was a person!! SMFH!

    Like 17
  7. WTF says:

    How can you have a robust economy and businesses cannot recruit f**king staff?

    Like 43
  8. Smh says:

    The economy is weak now and this joker calling it Robust. It’s robist for you because you know what you and your cronies doing. I am just so sick and fed up of this man. Feeding us faeces and telling us it’s chocolate.

    Like 39
  9. Reality Check says:

    Dear Premier,
    Please ask the Minister for Labour to stay home and stop interfering with the staff. Paper-paperless-paper; trying to work through his ill-conceived ideas is the holdup. Leave it to the talented staff to cleanup this mess as best they can without interference from your party politicians, all of whom have zero real world management experience.

    Even better, have all of them stay home and take away their phones!

    Like 27
    • There's an issue says:

      Clearly there’s an issue. The question is:
      Is it in the department?
      Is it with the top management?

      Guessing the latter.

  10. BVI Future says:

    How can you have the words robust and sluggish in the same title?

    Like 13
  11. RealPol says:

    Premier, common on man. This makes no nonsense. It is either that you are not listening to your advisors or their advice is not worth a wooden penny. I have seen better advice by some bloggers on this and other eNews sites. Come clean and stop the damn spin. Too much spinning can cause the maze.

    Like 18
  12. BuzzBvi says:

    So is the plan to destroy the marine and hotel sectrors even more until the Labour department is fully operational again. Just leave the Cruise Ship arrivals in place for the cronies.

    Like 17
    • redstorm says:

      This is sad, imagine I leave my boat west went away came back only to find there is a cruise permit now in place for everyone who I need to go out on my boat. The small man is who feeling the pinch, so if the economy was robust, there would never been a need to add these addition expenses, please let the people relax. Covid has done enough.

    • True enough says:

      Too true: Destroy tourism outside the cruise sheep mobs…
      20 years ago tourism, ports and other government agencies swore that their tourism model was NOT St. Thomas. Clearly not true.

      Those big ships feature big payola! Along those lines the times have NOT changed.

  13. @ PERFUME ? says:


  14. Sad says:

    Really a sad state of affairs in the BVI. If government doesn’t get their act together and support businesses and tourism, there won’t be any to support later on. Time to LIVE with Covid and not allow it to destroy what little is left. Quarantine the SICK, not the healthy. Vaccine doesn’t not prevent and few have died FROM Covid, rather they have died WITH Covid.
    This banana republic will soon be a little too ripe to be of any use to anyone.

  15. Hilarious says:

    This man take the people for f&#LS

  16. Jayne says:

    Robust? Robust? I don’t think you know what Robust means.

  17. vg says:

    That labour minister needs to go.All the changes dis man makes is in humane and a downfall to the economy of the bvi.

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