Bermudians urged to apply for closed category jobs
Unemployed Bermudians were yesterday urged to contact the workforce development department to fill vacant positions.
The appeal came as it was announced that work permit applications submitted for non-Bermudian partners of work permit holders “will generally not be approved at this time”.
A spokesman for the labour ministry said that the new restriction on partners of work permit holders was introduced to boost Bermudian employment.
He added: “Notably, the economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly contracted the Bermuda job market.
“Accordingly, the Ministry of Labour is advising the general public that through the Department of Immigration, permissions to seek employment for partners will generally not be approved at this time.
“Partners are persons in a relationship who are not legally married, nor are they in a legal domestic partnership or other legal arrangement.
“Therefore, the partner of a Bermudian, permanent resident certificate holder, non-Bermudian on a work permit or other legal resident of Bermuda will generally be allowed to reside in Bermuda, but not to seek employment, until further advised by the Ministry of Labour.”
The spokesman said that Bermudians skilled in restricted and closed job categories should submit their CVs to the Department of Workforce Development.
He added: “This will enable DWD to update its unemployment database and assist persons in being re-employed.”
The spokesman said that the DWD would continue to provide training to unemployed Bermudians and liaise with employers and recruitment agencies to match unemployed Bermudians with jobs.
He added: “We appeal to all unemployed Bermudians to register on the Bermuda Job Board and upload their most recent resume to allow the department of workforce development to help connect potential employees with prospective employers.
“Submitted resumes will be cross-referenced against employer work permit renewals.
“Additionally, data from this initiative will be used to determine the composition of closed and restricted job categories beyond July 31.
Jason Hayward, the labour minister, said: “As Bermuda’s economy reopens, the Ministry of Labour will continue to assist unemployed Bermudians to be redeployed into occupations for which labour demand has traditionally existed, guided by the restricted and closed job categories.
“The collaboration between the departments of workforce development and immigration is essential to how the Government is doing things differently moving forward to the benefit of the people.”
A moratorium on a series of job categories was announced last November by Mr Hayward “to encourage the hiring of Bermudians in the workforce”.
The ban on new work permit applications was introduced to encourage Bermudians to apply for positions.
The labour ministry has not responded to questions from The Royal Gazette on April 30 asking how many Bermudians had been placed in closed category jobs since the moratorium was imposed.
But yesterday the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce gave the policy its backing.
Kendaree Burgess, the chamber’s chief executive officer, said: “The BCC and other employer groups have been in talks with the Ministry regarding the moratorium on work permits.
“We acknowledge that this legislation applies to new permits only and therefore employers will advertise and follow all the usual steps when applying for new positions.
If no Bermudian or spouse is available, then employers have the option of appealing to the Minister.
“We recognise and agree that the Government has a right to take steps to ensure that displaced Bermudians are not overlooked, especially in this period of high unemployment due to Covid.
“We further support the ministries assertion that this does not apply to renewals. When the economy improves sufficiently enough, employers will likely need to renew some of the permits of existing work permit holders and to do so in an expeditious manner.”
Unemployed Bermudians who need help to register on the Bermuda Job Board for restricted and closed job categories should contact the DWD on 297-7714 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The restricted categories are:
Bank teller, general bartender, commercial cleaner, residential cleaner, fisherman, travel agent/consultant, administrative assistant, room attendant, kitchen porter, dish/pot washer, kitchen assistant or similar, tennis instructors, golf instructors, handyman, reporters/journalists, HR officer/manager, recruiter, customer car/service rep and seasonal work permits, interns, carpet installer, entertainer/musician, technician salesperson, general carpenter, landscape gardener (entry level), photographer, waiter/server, personal/executive assistant, barber, senior clerk, warehouse clerk, security guard, laundry attendant, real estate agent, teaching aide, para professional, legal executive, librarian, public relations officer, child care assistant, electrician and plumber.