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Are we open for business or a ‘closed’ category?

Dear Sir,

We hear from time to time that we need more people in Bermuda to make the “system” work. Why, then, do we throw obstacles in front of the process of getting people here?

I do not claim to know the length of time it takes to process a work permit. However, I get the impression that it isn’t a quick and efficient process — although I agree that it shouldn’t be quick.

We know that work permits are granted only for certain “open” categories of work. Further, they are granted only if a qualified Bermudian cannot be found to fill the position.

Let’s say that I operate a delivery business, delivering goods to local retail stores or to job sites, etc. The person driving one of my delivery vans retires, or for some reason has to stop working. I advertise the position. I receive no applications from Bermudians. Therefore, I need to look for an employee from overseas or a non-Bermudian already living here.

If I cannot get a work permit for this person, am I then forced to scale back my business because I cannot find a Bermudian driver? If I operate a landscaping business and cannot attract Bermudians to cut grass or trim hedges, do I close my business?

There are a number of scenarios. Take the restaurant business: who are the staff taking your orders and serving your food? I’ll guarantee that a large percentage is not Bermudians!

I hear that the waiting time to apply for or receive long-term residence is 20 years. Why? There are people working in Bermuda on work permits who want to stay here and can afford to stay here. They will buy cars, they will shop in our local stores, they will rent properties or even purchase them. They want to raise their children who will attend our schools. So, it begs the question: why can’t they be granted LTR in a more timely fashion?

Not only would they contribute to the economy, they would pay into the social insurance/pension system. I repeat: pay into the pension. The same thing applies to granting status to those who want to be here, and can afford to stay.

I have to ask: do we really want more people here? Can someone in government please answer this question.



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Published March 02, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated March 02, 2024 at 7:09 am)

Are we open for business or a ‘closed’ category?

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