Caymanians Must Benefit Too
Our goal is to see more Caymanians being trained for positions, including senior level postings in our workforce.
—Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson
Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson said his department and the Immigration Boards are working hard to ensure that more Caymanians benefit from the Islands' economic prosperity.
"Our goal is to see more Caymanians being trained for positions, including senior level postings in our workforce," Mr Manderson said.
He was speaking at the Immigration District Evening public meeting held recently in North Side.
While applauding companies that provided employment and training opportunities for local people, Mr Manderson said others left much to be desired.
As examples of good corporate citizenship, he cited several law and accountancy firms, as well as the Tortuga Rum Company which recently announced two scholarships for Caymanian employees.
To encourage such attitudes, Mr Manderson said the department was looking at developing a reward system for companies which have consistently committed to training and hiring Caymanians.
On the other hand, he said, authorities have intensified investigations of employers who break work permit rules and in so doing, deny locals desirable job opportunities.
He emphasized that his staff and Board members are working to ensure that positions advertised are legitimate and that companies have exhausted all efforts to find Caymanians to fill vacancies before they are offered to foreign nationals.
"We have probed cases where businesses use misleading advertising. For example, a company may say it needs a clerk, when in fact it needs an accountant," he said, adding that such deception usually aims to avoid paying higher work permit fees. Mr Manderson noted that these falsities also cheat citizens who might have applied had the correct positions been published.
"When an advertisement appears for a particular position and when a company submits a request for a work permit for certain positions, my staff and both the Business Staffing Plan Board and the Work Permit Board investigates whether any qualified Caymanian is available to fill the vacancy," he added.
Turning to the responsibility of Caymanians, Mr Manderson advised young Caymanians to earn appropriate qualifications to ensure that they can compete in the labour market and take advantage of employment opportunities.
"We could eliminate all 25,000 work permits tomorrow, but what would be the point if there are no qualified Caymanians for these positions?" Mr Manderson asked.
On a related matter, Mr Manderson voiced his concern about the number of persons in the country on work permits, but without work.
He asked Caymanians and other employers to inform the Immigration Department of the change in employment status of workers no longer employed to them, and to be honest when filing applications for permits.
For further information contact: Prudence Barnes