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Work permit waiver discontinued for skilled workers | Select persons given grace period

Roughly 20 months after the former NDP government implemented a work permit waiver policy under the Skilled Workers Programme, waivers have now been discontinued.

The discontinuation became effective on April 30.

However, to facilitate employers still in possession of a previously-issued work permit document that is valid, Cabinet decided on a three-month ‘grace period’.

The grace period will end on July 15.

The waiver

The waiver programme was implemented after the 2017 hurricanes to fast-track the territory’s recovery process.

The programme has facilitated hundreds of skilled workers, particularly those in the construction sector, to enter and work in the British Virgin Islands with greater ease.

The waiver document was issued once the relevant documents were presented to the Labour Department.

Last October, then Labour Minister Dr Kedrick Pickering called for the policy to be reviewed following reports that many skilled workers in the construction industry were abandoning their employers for better-paying jobs.

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22 Comments

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  1. Reality says:

    I propose that you show a more appropriate photograph of skilled workers – as all this photo illustrates is inadequately protected workers with no safety harnesses and one not even wearing a hard hat! they are right next to unprotected rebar which if they were to fall on would impale them dead!The word cowboy workers comes to mind….

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    • Anonymous says:

      So this is being done so the Belongers can once again hold the work permits of the foreign workers and take a third of their pay. Human trafficking? Slavery? Indentured Servitude? This is the way of the Racist and Apartheid BVI squatters who claim to be Belongers indigenous to the land.

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    • Seriously says:

      The photograph is ‘Reality’…

    • Reality says:

      To violate a safety law – you need to start with building codes…there are none for residential housing. So get over it. I got barefoot stone Masson from St Vincent who built my house before the storm…and rebuilt it after Irma. God bless he!

  2. Want2Kno says:

    How many local employees from Long Look & East End, are currently working on the Football Stadium being built in Greenland?

    Long Look has a high unemployment rate and there are persons as laborers who can’t get a job there….

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  3. smh says:

    This should of been stopped a long time ago, You seeing all these men coming in and not going out.

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  4. Crazy says:

    @smh, agree totally, so many men and a lot of them not working and also bringing in their girlfriends and looking jobs for them. It’s ridiculous about time them start to leave especially those that don’t have jobs before them start stealing

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    • Gratitude is a Must! says:

      It isn’t two years since your territory was struck by two category fives in a matter of days. People came to your aid not all of whom were paid for it. Have some sympathy to the plight of other people. SMH! We are about to head into hurricane season again. Contrary to popular misconception, the BVI is more reliant on expat labour than expat labourers are dependent on the BVI.

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  5. Look says:

    All of them unemployed up there don’t want to do that kind of work. They want to sit on a block and expect job to fall in they lap. It have work around the place with Belongers preferred and the not applying.

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    • @Look says:

      The Belonger is a lazy unskilled, uneducated, sub human that lives off of others like a rimora fish. If it were not for workers from other countries the Belonger would be walking around naked, hungry and living under trees and rocks

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      • @Look says:

        Your comment is disgusting. Shame on you!

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      • Stopit!! says:

        So you saying my father who had 15 of us Belongers did not work to feed us, clothe us and we lived in grass houses?
        Well, let me tell you who is the Belonger that I grew up with: hard-working, God-fearing, family provider, the friend of strangers, the lender to the one in need, the progressive person, a person practicing principles of right-living.
        Please refrain from calling down our people. You do not know our horse from our saddle. If you don’t like us, please run to h**l from among us.

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  6. Sam says:

    I arrived after Irma to work in a specialist area to get BVI back on its feet. I was treated badly by local people from day one . The worst offenders were lazy stoned layabouts. I saw corruption, bribery and uneducated people in positions of power who should not have been there. Educated quality Belongers get ignored because they have the wrong family name. The company could not continue my contract after a break to go home because immigration would not allow it for no good reason other than the political manoeuvring of a man called CSK because he could not get his own way and people like me were stopping people like him from profiting from irma\marie . BVI ungrateful messed up racist lazy island that relies on dirty money.

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  7. Timeless says:

    I don’t know if is done here but I think the Prisoners up Balo should be push hard into learning a trade and use them around the communities to do some serious work there’s lots of work to be done around the place at the end of their time the have a little money coming out with and a mind set to fall back into society as a changed hard working person.

  8. All I am going to say for now says:

    There are to many unskilled dumb as h*LL fake plumbers/ contractors on the Island. There is a perticular one from Sea Cows Bay, he get men to work and dissapear for the day.When it is time to pay the workers, you have to run him down for the money or damn near lick the fool down for the pay that is owed to you.

  9. Let me say this says:

    Most of the buildings that withstood hurricane Irma/Maria are the ones that were built by locals before so much expats came and lie that they are skilled. The most unskilled people in the BVI now are expats. All the hate you all spewing towards BV Islanders is because you want to manipulate us and we must roll over and play dead.

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  10. Construction Inspections says:

    Yet another area for the Minister of Works to tackle. We need health and safety inspectors inspecting worksite for full safety gear. This is a new BVI. For employers and workers who are in breach fine them. Give them a ticket like a traffic ticket. That will increase revenue for the territory and raise our standards. Workers should be fine too, not just employers because some employers provide the stuff but the worker doesn’t comply.

  11. Wages says:

    What is the average rate for a skilled tile installer/Mason

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