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Three month extension on job moratorium, some professions taken off list

Putting Bermudians first: Jason Hayward, the minister of labour (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A ban on new work permit applications in a slew of job categories has been extended for a further three months until the end of October.

But seven professions have been moved from ‘closed’ to ‘restricted’, meaning that employers can submit work permit applications if they have been unable to employ a Bermudian.

Government expanded the moratorium last year after hundreds of people lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A labour ministry spokesman said: “As highlighted in the 2020 Labour Force Survey report, unemployment at the end of last year was higher than in previous years.

“While some industries have begun to recover, there is still a need to find suitable employment for Bermudians. As a result, the Ministry of Labour will be extending the moratorium on new work permits issued for a three-month period, until October 31, 2021.

The seven categories that have moved from closed to restricted are; Tennis instructor; General Carpenter; Landscape Gardener (Entry Level); Waiter/ Server; Electrician; Plumber; General Mason.

According to the spokesman, the application process for jobs in the restricted category is the same as that for the open category, but the employer can only apply for a maximum term of one year.

The closed categories

The closed categories are: Residential/ Commercial Cleaner; Bank Teller; General Bartender; Fisherman; Travel Agent/ Consultant; Administrative Assistant; Room Attendant; Kitchen Porter; Dish/ Pot Washer; Kitchen Assistant; Golf Instructors; Handyman; HR Officer/ Manager; Recruiter; Customer Care/ Service Rep; Seasonal Work Permits; Interns; Carpet Installer; Entertainer/ Musician; Technician salesperson; Photographer; Personal Executive Assistant; Nail Technician; Barber; Senior Clerk; Warehouse Clerk; Security Guard; Laundry Attendant; Real Estate Agent; Teaching Aide; Para-Professional; Librarian; Public Relations Officer; Childcare Assistant; Airline Ground Agent; Retail Floor Supervisor; General Labourer; Office Receptionist; Painter; Salesperson; Tourist Retail Salesperson; Taxi Driver; Wallpaper Technician; Grocery Packer; Cashier; Courier.

They must also submit evidence that any candidates screened and recommended by the Department of Workforce Development have been appropriately considered.

The spokesman added: “DWD is expected to respond to enquiries by employers within ten working days. Should no response be forthcoming from DWD, the employer may submit the application with written evidence that they made enquiries.

“While we understand the current labour market and the significant impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on many local businesses, it is always our aim to ensure effective use of policies that create capacity in the labour force for Bermudians.”

The spokesman said that ministry had been in talks with the Department of Immigration, the department of workforce development and the Chamber of Commerce “to ensure that the amendments reflect the current landscape of the labour market and provide Bermudians with the opportunity to thrive across multiple job categories”.

He added: “The Ministry has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce on an ongoing basis to form a workforce development and employment working group, which will develop collective strategies to move Bermuda forward and ensure unemployed Bermudians are matched with employers seeking to fill vacant positions in closed categories.”

The spokesman said that the ministry will continue to work through Phase 2 of the National Re-employment Strategy to connect Bermudians with opportunities within the labour market, “including continuing the robust scrutiny of work permits submitted to ensure qualified Bermudians are given priority in the workplace”.

Individuals looking to increase their skills and employability are encouraged to register with the department of workforce development at dwd@gov.bm and explore more options for further education through the Bermuda College at www.college.bm.

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Published July 28, 2021 at 8:02 am (Updated July 28, 2021 at 8:02 am)

Three month extension on job moratorium, some professions taken off list

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