No TCI Islander should be Unemployed
23, 027 jobs
8,589 TCIslanders in the labour force
According to Annex A of the National Skills audit (page 259), the labour force in TCI is 23,027 of which 8,589 are belongers. It is also noted that the belonger population of over 14 years and older is only 9,888.
I know one of the major cries among our people are that they are unable to find a job. However, the ratio of the labour force to the number of employable Turks and Caicos Islanders is 2.68 to 1 which means for every Turks and Caicos Islander who can work, there are 2.68 jobs for each of them.
I am conscious of the fact that the majority of the jobs are on the island of Providenciales and so the aforementioned ratio may not be applicable to the islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos and North Caicos. If you are on the other islands and you are unemployed and you are looking for a job, then you will have to make a decision to come to Providenciales.Alternatively, start a viable business and create jobs for others on the other islands.
There are more than enough jobs for Turks and Caicos Islanders.If you are unemployed then register with the LabourDepartment. The Government must develop a labour data base. The National Insurance Board and the National Health Insurance Board have a data base respectively of all legal employers and legal employees. One of those platforms can be used as a basis to develop a national data base recording every employee, their name, job title, salaries, length of time on the job, allowances, benefits, experience and qualifications. The data base also needs to reflect all of students (locally and overseas) studying at a tertiary institution and their expected completion date. This data base will allow the Private Sector, the Public Sector, LabourDepartment and the Immigration Department to make better decisions in terms of labour clearances, work permits and recruitment of staff. The LabourDepartment needs to use the data base and work pro-actively with the employers to ensure that every Turks & Caicos Islander is not only employed but they are employed in the right job. Considering that there is less than 9,000 belongers in the work force, the process of ensuring that there is full employment for TCI Islanders should be easily accomplished.
I believe if every TC Islander is employed, our relationship with each including other nationalities will be improved because some of us are frustrated in that we are unable to find a job and many times, we take our frustration out on the expatriate worker when in fact sometimes they are not to be blamed.
I am aware of cases where locals have been waiting for years for a job and many times are forced to leave TCI to seek employment elsewhere. This is unacceptable and must be dealt with through the collaboration between the Labour Department and the Private Sector. For students, the TCIG should ensure that once the graduates return home whether they were on scholarship or not, arrangements should be in place with TCIG Human Resources Dept and the Private Sector to have these students working on a project in TCI until a vacancy becomes available. If the local does not have the experience but have the academic qualifications, then let them understudy someone until they are able to do the role.
I am also aware of cases where some locals have a preference for the type of job they want. I know I have mention several times on the radio show that individuals should never be on a job they do not enjoy but if there is a particular company you want to work for and there is an opening, you should apply for it and get in the door. Once the company sees your performance, you may end up getting your desired job in the end. Do something rather than complaining and being unemployed.
There are many students that are graduating from secondary school this year. Our focus on them should not be about getting a job. Our focus should be to develop and upgrade their skills either through the Community College or a Vocational/Technical School. Once they have achieved their qualifications then the focus should be on a career path.
In conclusion, if the 1,665 employers are operating profitable businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands, one of the best way an employer can contribute to TCI is by hiring local staff in the right position at the right pay. There is adequate capacity for local staff and work permit holders as the local staff of 8,589 cannot be on every 23, 027 jobs in TCI. If your business is benefiting by being in TCI, then return a favour to TCI by giving the TC Islanders an opportunity to work at your establishment. TC Islanders if you want a job, you need to apply for the job, inform the labour department and when given the opportunity, perform to the best of your ability. The ball is in your court. No TC Islander should be unemployed.