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Mitchell: No More Industry Work Permits Without Labour Certificates

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

FREEPORT – Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell said the government will no longer allow industrial companies to apply for work permits without labour certificates showing that there are no Bahamians available to fill the jobs.

photo

Fred Mitchell

“We are routinely requiring companies to have those labour certificates. And they ought to do so routinely, and not seek to get that requirement waived because we are under severe constraints not to waive that requirement,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said the Immigration Board held discussions in Freeport on Friday.

In the past, he said, many companies – particularly in the industrial sector – have been able to get work permits on what they regard as an emergency basis and not meet the requirement for a labour certificate, which is the only way the department will know whether or not there are Bahamians available for the jobs.

He said work permits are only to be issued in circumstances where there are no Bahamians available.

“One of the ways we find that out is when the Department of Labour issues a certificate which says there are no Bahamians available for those jobs,”Mr Mitchell said.

He said the Minister for Grand Bahama has met and spoken with the industrial companies.

“And we thought it was necessary to make a public statement to the community to sensitise persons to that issue,” he said.

“We are trying to make sure that… no one gets around the system. We are trying to change the culture of this.

“Some people will plan Bahamians out of the economy in their own country. We don’t intend to preside over that.

“We welcome investment and we want to make sure things are processed in a timely fashion, but we like people to obey the rules and stick by those rules so that Bahamians can have a first call on the resources of the country,” he said.

He said Minister Darville has been working very closely with the industrial sector on getting training for Bahamians.

“We understand that there are deficiencies in training and skills, and that is something that is being addressed,” Minister Mitchell added.

Comments

TalRussell 7 years, 3 months ago

Could it be Bahamaland is being blessed with the reincarnation of a former no-nonsense Immigration Minister, in the image of the Honourable Comrade Minister Loftus A. Roker?

I tell you it took one big set of bullocks to have summoned the aviation billionaire Howard Hughes to your office. And, yes though the media never learned about the meeting, Comrade Howard was indeed driven to the minister's office for a face-to-face interview, with my dear friend in the car, as his trusted Bahamian head of his security team.

Pay close attention you nosey, battling also "guests" to Bahamaland billionaires of today, Comrade Minister Freddy don't play around. And, guess what, despite your loud noise in the media you two ain't anything close to being no "legendary" billionaires?

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Last known photo taken of an aged Howard Hughes">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Last known photo taken of an aged Howard Hughes by TalRussell

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242gsmith 7 years, 3 months ago

And the Exodus begins in 3.....2......1.......

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SP 7 years, 3 months ago

@ 242gsmith.....Please help them out the door. What benefit are they to the Bahamas anyway?

Congratulations Fred Mitchell, this is way overdue. Make sure when these foreigners hire Bahamians our people are properly compensated based on what the foreigners earned as well!

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242gsmith 7 years, 3 months ago

I meant all the foreign investors and all their money that helps keep this economy going. Good luck finding people that will invest here when they are being told who they can and can not hire.

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 3 months ago

xenophobia is a big political seller for the ears of the undereducated and emotional masses ,the big and medium investers will get all the permits they need or want ..

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SP 7 years, 3 months ago

I am always absolutely stunned at the level of ignorance and large numbers of educated idiots living in this small country.

The whole world aggressively protect its borders and jobs for their citizens but when the Bahamas government finally decides to follow suit someone who just learned a new word is quick to label their own people as xenophobic.

You Uncle Toms need to broaden your exposure and research how other countries deal with foreign workers before opening your mouths and confirming your ignorance.

Read below links to learn how Great Britain is dealing with foreign workers.

http://news.yahoo.com/britains-pm-cam...">http://news.yahoo.com/britains-pm-cam...

http://news.yahoo.com/foreign-maids-l...">http://news.yahoo.com/foreign-maids-l...

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 3 months ago

let me ask you something ,these companies are operating as a capatalist enterprise where profit is king ,..why then would they pay 10.000 for a work permit ,or multiple permits , and as you claim pay the foriegners more if they could find the same thing here . . Yesterday i took out 6 couples ,12 people on a boat tour . they travel togeather every year and frequent a chain resort through the region .. they came to our new hotel of that chain on a family island ..when i asked how there stay was they said this local was the most beautiful but the service was the worst they have ever had . they said apart from the foriegn employees the place would be a complete disaster ..Myself and another Bahamian ,an employee from the resort were embarrassed . the guest were nice folks and good spenders .. i have been in the tourism industery since i was 14 ,,i am now 51 ..the 15% on the bill ruined us ,,i don,t put it on my bills b/c i have allways average 25% and up tips ..SP i don,t know where you live ..when both partys tell you we are doing 5 mill / tourist a year its a joke ,,its 3.5 cruise ship / 1.35 stopover ...for the last decade we have been losing stopover to other countrys in our region and it is b/c of attitude and service ..get used to it ,,,we got to make foriegners beds and serve drinks to live .. i did it and saved money until i could afford a boat to fish and take guest in ..i have prepared myself for Cuba,s opening ,have you ,,with our lousy service they are going to knock the crap out of us ..as i said before this type of xenophopic rethoric makes people very emotive ,some throw facts out the window , like the fact that big and medium investers will get all the pewrmits they want under the PLP , and resort to name calling ,Freds fantasy speech has served it purpose of uniting support againts a straw man to figth ,,the wicked foriegner it diverts us from the reality that we are killing one another nightly ,,our debt is skyrocketing ,numbers man bougth the parliment and we are going to drill holes for oil in our pristine waters ,,lmafo

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SP 7 years, 3 months ago

Ignorance is bliss....... "He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies".

Today Saudi Arabia is doing exactly what we need to do....See article link:

http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-arabia-in...">http://news.yahoo.com/saudi-arabia-in...

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 3 months ago

i have worked in the industry for 37 years , my labour and attitude have helped promote our country .. ,the amout of fuel , food ,liquer and beer ibought while i entertain tourist provides jobs... for a boat i,m putting togeather now i will pay large amounts of liability insurance to Bahamian owned insurance companies ,i buy marine parts fiberglass etc ffrom bahamian companies ,,i have spent thosand in dollars on materials to repair and paint a a boat...don,t give me plaititudes ,,i,m out there everyday with our lifeblood ,our guest ..

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 3 months ago

i can,t believe in a debate you would infer that me dying would be a benefit to the world ,,..read the facts ,our service sucks and we are losing stopover visitors to others in our region ,Jamaica ,Domminican Republic, Turks ,,no amount of race baiting pointed at white people and pumping up the arrogance of the undereducated changes these facts ,,only better sevice and additudes will . if you have a non biased friend in the MOT ask them to show you the exit surveys by our guest ,it will make your hair stand on end ..b/c of our service we have to spend more and more to even hold the 1.35 million stopover we get ,,we are not special ,there is a whole region w/ sand ,sea and sun ,,

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banker 7 years, 3 months ago

Not to worry. Everyone except the politicians will be eating pigeons and coconuts. The conch and lobster be gone. Tourists be gone. There has not been one positive economic indicator in the Bahamas for over 5 years now. The key to a thriving economy, is thriving immigration, a skilled workforce and a diverse economy. Shet da door, pull da blind, tell da Hyshun ta cut da grass and go home. Forward Bahamaland.

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TalRussell 7 years, 3 months ago

Comrades my patriotic view is pretty simple. Once you weigh the temporary benefits for corporations with the continuation of what has been an almost automatic granting of work permits policy, the long-term economic rewards to Bahamland are seriously lacking.

I talk corporate work permits as there can be no excuse for hiring foreigners for domestic jobs. If you to important for a fellow Bahamian to be in your home, then do the damn domestic work yourselves and stop running to minister Freddy with all them excuses every time you decide it's time hire another foreign domestic of a out of paycheque bahamian.

Minister Freddy by all accounts, it's now or never to put a stop to corporations submitting work permit applications while pretending how committed they are to hiring Bahamians first. Soon it may be too damn late to deliver such a clear message to corporations, that no more are you going to so easily pretend that you would prefer to hire a Bahamian for you job openings?

The vast majority of Bahamanian will support you, against any of your own PLP cabinet colleagues who may be too weak-kneed, to believe in their own peoples "birth right" to regular paychecks and benefits, in their own Bahamaland.

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blueothello 7 years, 3 months ago

So we remove all of the foreigners, and then what? My concern is that we are going to have understudies eventually for workers who have had years of education, training and experience, who lack both education, and the know how.

If I am a foreigner and have studied for and have say for the sake of an argument a Masters in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications, and I have the education and experience that no one else has, you really expect that I should have (and presumably train) an understudy who should have my wealth of knowledge and experience in those two years of being an understudy when I have 4-7 years of education and 3+ years of experience?

What about the trained professionals already in the country, such as those in the education, medical, and other technical fields that require years of not only education, but training and know how to be competent in their fields, are they to give way as well to those under-qualified simply because they're "entitled"?

I don't know what fantasy world Fred Mitchell and Shane Gibson are living in, but business in the real world doesn't and has never worked in way they want it to here because entitlement doesn't exist in the realm of business. It's about which person can do the best job. It's a tough lesson to learn, but if you want a job, you have to earn it like everybody else on the planet; through education and a good work ethic, not have it handed to you on a silver platter because you're told you're entitled to it as a local.

I'm quite sure if you live in any first world country, and apply for work, you would feel comfortable knowing the employer takes whoever is the best person for the job because good employers understand "entitlement" for locals doesn't cut it and doesn't necessarily create a stronger or better workforce. This shouldn't be about giving away jobs to Bahamians for the sake of jobs, it should be making sure the workforce is educated enough to do the work efficiently.

Finally, can anyone name one country apart from this country, that is purposely and systematically removing foreigners (both skilled and unskilled) so locals can feel entitled to work whether they are qualified or not? I can't either. Eventually this isolationist policy being pursued by the PLP will do more harm than good and will end in disaster.

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pilgrimagerock 7 years, 3 months ago

For a country that depends of FDI, I don't think Mitchell realize what he’s going. Having a degree in the field of interests is one thing but if your skills are not on par with the rest of the world, how do you expect a foreign business in the Bahamas to become successful on the global market with an unskilled workforce. If Mitchell hidden agenda is that all foreign businesses hire unskilled Bahamian workers to become skilled workers, may God help the Bahamas because he is living in his own world.

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Collin 7 years, 3 months ago

I am a Bahamian. I have for years stressed throughout the country that we need to prepare our people to be competitive globally. I have advocated for self pride and to for young Bahamians to develop the determination to be the best in their field of endeavour.

We Bahamians fear foreigners because we know that we are not able to compete en mass with them. Sure we have bright spots and high-fliers who can compete with anyone anywhere. However, in the main we do not have the work ethic and social skills necessary for us to develop a competitive country.

This is directly tied to the PLP and the movement towards Majority Rule. Sadly, over a generation the PLP led government turned an industrious hardworking people into a people of entitlement and just cause "Ya born here" ya must get. No correlation has been made o preparation, perspiration and pride in personal and community development.

As a result, we have people who spend more time at work trying to figure out how we can look like we working as oppose to being productive. We refer to the job as this the boss job. We have no regard for education and expertise and any drunkard in the bar or high school drop out will speak condescendingly to an expert in a field. If they expert dear say anything then they are made out to "think they are better than people" or " a know it all".

We in this country need to decide if we want to build a country that can compete with the rest of the world and maintain a high standard of living. Or, we can decide to run foreigners and investment from our shores and relegate ourselves to the third and possibly fourth world for generations.

This is no simple decision because it is emotive and has been used by politicians especially the PLP to make its base support feel like they are fighting for them.

I know I am probably asking the impossible, but we need an honest debate on immigration. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is possible because it is not to the benefit of some to tell the masses the truth providing them with the Real options.

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pilgrimagerock 7 years, 3 months ago

I couldn't have said it better. WTO is going to be the Bahamas wake up call.

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leeza 7 years, 3 months ago

Can you actually believe anything that comes from this administration ........................Please

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leesa 6 years, 4 months ago

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henjons88 6 years, 3 months ago

I would imagine that many take the chance and work from home etc staying under the radar, http://www.atkersonlaw.com/PracticeAr...">check out this site if you're looking for legal information. I'll always remember in Thailand that if caught without a work permit you could very well be fined.

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