Based on a survey, 62.5% plan to return home.
On May 21st, 2002, the British Overseas Territories Act granted the rights of the overseas territories the right to work and live in the UK. As a result of this act, many people are migrating to the UK. The people that are migrating are not just Turks and Caicos Islanders but other nationalities that resided in the Turks and Caicos that have BOTC and Turks and Caicos Status.
There is a perception that thousands are leaving and not returning home and so I did a survey to gather more information about why people are migrating to the UK. Before I proceed further, let me thank all the participants that participated in the survey.
Results of the survey
People are migrating to the UK for various reasons. Based on the survey, 41.94% of the people are studying, 48.39% of the people are working and the remaining 9.68% was in none of the above category. Personally, I think it is a great thing that many people are embracing the opportunity to study in the UK, and I also think it is great that they are working. I was surprised that 48.39% was working but hopefully they are gaining the necessary experience so when they return home, they will not be rejected for lack of experience or lack of education.
One of the questions on the survey was whether they are returning to the Turks and Caicos islands. 62.5% of the responders say they plan to return home. This is excellent news as some people do not think that some of these people that migrated to the UK will return home so if 62.5% of the people will return home, this is very encouraging. The remaining 37.5% say they will not return home.
Some people said they plan to return home to fulfil their scholarship obligations. Others said they will return home so they can use their knowledge to help flourish the economy of the Turks and Caicos. Some also say they love their country and they believe is their duty to return and serve the Turks and Caicos. I think the love of country is a great response and we must encourage this at all times.
The people who said that they do not plan to return home is due to the fact that there are more opportunities in the UK. Furthermore, they do not see any career prospects in their field in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Speaking about opportunities, this was a question on the survey and 53.13% of the responders think there are opportunities while the remaining 46.88% do not think so. I do believe there are many opportunities in the Turks and Caicos but unfortunately, many of our people have been overlooked or rejected. Too many people are returning home and not finding jobs in their fields when in fact there are so many jobs.
Ironically though, even though the majority of people say they will return home, 61.76% of the responders said that they preferred being in the UK. I don’t know why they preferred being in the UK but I can understand. I recalled when I left the Turks and Caicos to go to college and University, it was my intention to return home. However, when the time for me to return home came, I had so many reservations about returning home because the social life for me in Ohio was better than what it was in TCI. I am glad though that I returned home to make a difference in my country.
Another question on the survey was about the Community College and if the community college was offering the same course of study as what they were studying in the UK, would they attend the Community College, 72.73% of the responders said they would attend the Community College. I do believe that the Community College needs to do more campaigns on their courses because I am aware of some people who are studying in the UK while the course is being offered at the Community College. The remaining 27.27% said that they would not study at the Community College because they believed the education in the UK is more advanced and has more facilities such as lab facilities. One person said they are not confident that the Community College courses are accredited.
It should be noted that 97% of the responders were citizens of the Turks and Caicos. The point is though citizens and non-citizens of TCI are migrating to the TCI. However, I am encouraged that 62.5% of the responders plan to return to the Turks and Caicos. All hope is not lost.
I believe that people that should embrace the opportunity to migrate to the UK for study and work. Don’t go to UK just because other people are going. Let it be a part of your goals to enhance your education and career path. However, please do return to the Turks and Caicos. If you do not return, then complain that outsiders are occupying the top positions in TCI when you refuse to come home.