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Government seeks ideas on how to increase working population

Seeking input: Jason Hayward, the Minister of Labour (File photograph)

The Government is seeking input from the public to find ways of increasing the island’s working population.

The Ministry of Economy and Labour is creating a strategic policy paper to tackle Bermuda’s “demographic crisis”, and has posted a consultation page through the Bermuda Citizen's Forum website.

A ministry spokesman said that the paper “will contain strategic initiatives for implementation aimed at improving and expanding the economy and increasing the working population“.

The paper will focus on three areas:

• Immigration, emigration, new business development and labour policy changes for current and future sectors

• Driving investment, innovation and improved opportunities for a sustainable Bermuda

• Expansion of current and future sectors and activities to promote sustainable growth, increased job creation and accelerated recovery

The spokesman added: “While not exhaustive, this list will help provide points of interest and stimulate ideas yet to be discussed or discovered. Essentially, there is a need to deliver better outcomes, build investment opportunities, create jobs and sustain employment activities.

“The public is invited to contribute their insight, ideas and feedback to help ensure that decisions made are in agreement with and benefits the community.”

Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, said: "We must continue investing in products, people and technology and working with the private and public sectors to improve our competitiveness and develop processes that provide equal access and opportunity for all.

“The actions we take now will shape the future of our community, and I urge everyone to contribute their thoughts and work together to solve this critical challenge facing the future of Bermuda."

A 2018 labour force survey revealed that the working population had dropped by more than 1,500 in the previous two years, while the number of retirees was increasing.

The need to develop strategies to expand the working population was listed in the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, which was unveiled in March 2021.

In September last year, the Government published a position paper titled Addressing the Challenge of an Ageing Population in Bermuda. The document painted a bleak picture of an expanding elderly population being supported by a decreasing working population.

It concluded: “Bermuda’s challenge is clear. The prospect of Bermuda’s declining and ageing population in the coming years raises critical concerns about GDP, employment, healthcare, retirement benefits and social support services.

“Bermuda is facing a demographic crisis that requires strong, decisive leadership and urgent action to be taken.”

The deadline for submissions is March 1.

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Published February 01, 2023 at 7:47 am (Updated February 01, 2023 at 7:47 am)

Government seeks ideas on how to increase working population

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