Deputy Premier and Minister for Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley has announced that once the online database of the Labour Department goes fully online, some work permits will be denied automatically.
Hon. Wheatley during his appearance on the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton-Cline radio programme on October 8, explained that the system is being configured to match Virgin Islanders with available jobs. He said that if a job becomes available that matches the need of a Belonger, and a work permit application is submitted, that work permit application will be denied.
In explaining how the process will work, the Deputy Premier said, “Right now we have a database; every single BVIslander, every single Belonger who wants a job, we’re going to sign you up in this database; give us your skills, if you need training we’ll provide the training. This database tracks every single work permit. The minute you apply for a work permit, it triggers the database—is there is anyone in here that suits the work permit application? And if there is, it’s denied automatically...”
Further, the Minister said that repeat applications for a certain job would also trigger the creation of a course at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College to ensure that Virgin Islanders have that skill.
Hon. Wheatley noted that the fusing of Labour and Immigration, and the new e-system that was unveiled a few months back, will also allow for the tracking of work permits.
“So we can track those work permits; so we can track the Labour needs…We are pushing strongly for our people to upskill themselves,” he added.
Separately, the Minister for Immigration mentioned that the new border security system will be fully operational by mid-2020, and at that time, the department would have full knowledge of persons who enter the BVI’s borders.”
The Minister said that the new system will help to track, monitor, record.
”We will know who are coming, when they are here, where they are and when they leave here. Really good border security system,” Hon. Wheatley explained.
He further mentioned that there will be a surveillance unit in place to monitor.