British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020

990 New Work Permits Issued Within 7 Months

990 New Work Permits Issued Within 7 Months

Within a seven-month period close to 1,000 new work permits were issued this year.
Labour Commissioner Mrs. Janice Rymer, said that from January to July 2019 new work permits which were approved totaled 990.

The Labour Commissioner, who was responding to questions during the recent Standing Finance Committee (SFC), disclosed that the department had processed 5540 applications on Tortola and 1792 applications on Virgin Gorda totaling 7332 on up to September, 2019.

The figure included renewals, new, change of employer, new part time, change of position, periodic, temporary and entertainment).

Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Marlon Penn asked the Labour Commissioner to provide a detailed statistic concerning the work permits for a ten-year period.

He also made mention of disputes between employer and employees and noted instances where companies were laying off BVIslanders and hiring foreigners in addition to the issue of non-response from the Labour Department.

Rymer said that she noted the instances that the Member spoke of and would look into those matters. She also added that the department had one dispute officer at present.

Hon. Natalio D. Wheatley, Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture asked if any figures were collected for work permits for unskilled labour (no specialised degrees or certifications).

In response, Rymer stated that persons who visit the department, the application asks for the type of skill so the department collects data on whatever their background and training was in and it goes into a data bank.

Hon. Wheatley suggested that the department collect data for positions for persons who do not need any specialized training.
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