HR society backs immigration initiatives

The Cayman Islands Society of Human
Resource Professionals issued a press release Friday stating it supported the
new immigration directives issued by the government last month for the
financial services sector.

“The overall consensus was in
support of these new initiatives,” the press release stated. “The Society
acknowledged that these initiatives and the accreditation system are currently
only applicable for the financial services sector, however it is understood
that the intention is to expand their reach to all other industries.”

The organisation conducted a survey
of its members that indicated that more than 75 per cent of the respondents
either supported or strongly supported the new immigration directives.

“Over 60 per cent of the
respondents were employed within the financial services sector and several
members commented that whilst they welcome the new directives, they look
forward to similar initiatives being introduced to tourism, development and
other industries on the Island.”

The press release went on to state
that while the society recognised the need to ensure that Caymanians are given
every opportunity to secure employment and progress their careers in their
chosen field, it acknowledged the need for additional overseas employees to
fill essential vacancies.

“The Society is confident that the
new directives will assist Caymanians entering the work force and developing
their career paths,” the release stated. “Under the accreditation system,
employers will need to train, develop, and promote their Caymanian staff. In
addition, employers will need to maintain good work ethics, policies and
employment practices, become involved in community programs and have talent
development programmes in place.”

The Society noted that businesses
still have to demonstrate on all key employee applications that the applicant’s
expertise is in short supply or hard to attract to the Island; that his or her
business contacts have a great impact on the continuance of the business; or
that other economic or social benefits exist if the individual’s talent is

Society President Phil Jackson said
there was a need to identify a “balanced approach to immigration; an approach
that will create an environment in which businesses can succeed while ensuring
Caymanians are being hired, developed and given opportunities to also succeed.”

Mr Jackson said there needed to be
more dialogue between the Immigration Boards and businesses to give a better
understanding of the way the law and regulations worked. He specifically
brought up Section 6 of the Immigration Regulations, which allows the
Immigration Board to require details of a training programme that would ensure
Caymanians are provided with the instruction and practical experience to make
them qualified for the job being applied for.

“There is also a
failure among certain businesses and their HR Departments to identify and
develop a successor to employees which have a Regulation 6 attached to their
work permit, which the Accreditation system will also address,” Mr. Jackson