‘Significant unemployment’ poses threat


Five days after meeting with Education Minister Rolston Anglin on the issue of unemployment, protesters took to the street in front of the Legislative Assembly building with banners to make a statement.

Protesters claimed on Thursday they were receiving unfair treatment in their own country when it came to finding gainful employment.

Mr. Anglin said he invited the organiser of the march and any others who desired to attend a meeting on Wednesday, 11 December, at which he had invited other elected colleagues, ministry personnel, Department Employment Relations personnel and Immigration personnel to hear directly from the women and asserted the government’s commitment to assist.

Five days later, the group of women were waving cards that read: “Caymanians are employable” – in front of the LA.

“We don’t have an employability issue we have the issue of incompetence in the Department of Employment Relations,” said demonstrator Kerry Horek. “That is our cause for unemployment. We are employable contrary to what others 
may say or think.”

The ladies said they were willing and able to work but were frustrated at not finding work, disappointed at government and the Cayman Islands Department Employment Relations for handling the issue so poorly.

Mr. Anglin said he understood the protester’s concerns.

“We have a significant unemployment issue that poses one of the greatest threats to our economy and society and the government is tackling the matter on three fronts,” said Mr. Anglin in a statement to the Caymanian Compass.

He said he would meet with the private sector with a view to better facilitate the hiring of Caymanians. He said he also plans to secure temporary assistance for the job placement unit at the Department Employment Relations and select an assessment tool to help understand people’s skills and better match them with job opportunities.

Government is reorganising the Department of Employment Relations into a new Department of Labour and Pensions and Human Capital Development Agency.

“The new Department of Labour and Pensions will provide the public with more seamless/efficient labour and labour related services and the HCDA will provide all job placement, training and scholarship services,” Mr. Anglin said. “The Government will be ensuring that the established linkages between the Department Employment Relations and the Immigration Department are working to ensure Caymanians are given every opportunity to secure employment… and thirdly the Government was working diligently to get projects, both public and private, started to kick start the economy and generate employment.”

The ministers should be doing more, said Ms Horek.

“The other day they had one young lady standing by the clock tower looking work; today there are a number of us ladies. Something is wrong. My real question is: why are Caymanians not at the forefront in their own country. There are unskilled people on work permit and contracts when Caymanians can do the same job,” she said.

“I think it is a dark day in our country especially just before Christmas when the ladies of this country don’t have work, can’t pay mortgages and feed their children,” said former George Town MLA Lucille Seymour. “Even standing here and looking out I see drivers, gardeners and others on work permit. Why are we hiring 22,000 in a country of 55,000 people if we have an employment issue?”

Ms Seymour said she was appealing to the government, the private sector and the Department Employment Relations to come comer together to reduce the unemployment rate and assist the people in finding jobs. “I realise that some of the skills that Caymanians have may no longer be needed but let’s fast track the learning system and get our people qualified so they can get jobs. I applaud the group of ladies for having the decency to stand up and be heard,” she added.

Donna Welcome, carrying a sign that read, ”I am an employable Caymanian” said she had an associate degree in business and held and accounting job. When she went to find other employment she was turned down.

“Most of the companies don’t even bother to get back to you and those that do get back said I was unsuccessful,” she said.


Protestors in front of the Legislative Assembly Building.
Photo: Jewel Levy


  1. Of course it must be the Expats fault.

    I would like to ask:

    1. How often are you sick;
    2. What is employment history like;
    3. Why would you want to go work for Expats when you feel they are the ones who steal the food of your table when in fact they are provide the economy you have in your country; and
    4. What jobs are you applying for?

    I am sure that once we, the readers, have all the facts then we could sit down and have a open and frank debate and we might be able to give you insight as to why you have allegedly been refused so many times. However I am of the opinion that these employable Caymanians may want a job but dont want to listen on how to get them….

  2. This is rich! On the same day of the announcement of a holiday for a royal wedding an ocean away – there is an article about how much Caymanians want to work. Cayman already has more statutory holidays than anywhere I know!

  3. I am a Caymanian and a business owner. Im not sure how other Caymanian business owners feel but myself and my partner are at the end of our ropes trying to fill a position in our business with a Caymanian. Since 2006 weve had 6 Caymanians come in our doors and all have either quit, been fired or just simply dissappered never to come into work again. This is not a difficult job. It requires you to sit at a desk, answer a phone and be polite to our customers. These all seem to be skills that are out a reach for the young ladies weve hired especially the latter. The excuses for their laziness baffle me to no end and weve now made the position no exsitent and my business partner handles the desk and customer service himself for the sake of the reputation of our business. From calling in sick at least once a month to downright rudness to our customers I personally am disgusted with my peoples work ethic(or complete lack of it). Until Caymanians step up to the plate and accept responsiblities for our own actions and stop blaming expats and our politicians then maybe well be able to turn this thing around.
    I love Cayman.

  4. The Ice Cream shop at Camana Bay has a help wanted sign in the window. Apparently they didnt get any replies to their newspaper ad for staff.

    One down…

  5. The unfortunate thing about caymanians not being able to find work is that they are to proud to take the jobs that are willingly offered to them. Beggars cannot be choosers. If i was a struggling mother or was the head of a struggling lower income family i would be doing anything to provide for my family. If i had to flip burgers all day long for minimum wage i would do it just to provide for my family. A little money is better than no money. To many people are unemployed because they say they are waiting for the perfect job to come along, well, how long are you going to wait ? forever ? Caymanian people are full of excuses. They have one for everyday of the week. I have found that expats do not steal the jobs, they only take the jobs that Caymanians dont want or are unskilled for. Also, a lot of people on this island think that they should be given a job at a law firm or a bank because they have a high school diploma, well Im sorry, it just doesnt work that way, you need a little bit more education than that. You need to be skilled in that specific field if you want to get that job. I think that a lot of these complainers should consider going back to school so that they can improve their quality of life, it is not governments to babysit them. Why should somebody else help if you if you refuse to help yourself first.

  6. Am presently employed, but afraid to lose my job very shortly because my boss does not like me. Hes an expat and he knows that hes an untouchable. His contacts are all involved in the Immigration Board. I will be the next one joining the protesters. Am a hard working person but when your boss doesnt like you, then its obvious youre not wanted and youre out!

  7. Quote; ‘The Ice Cream shop at Camana Bay has a help wanted sign in the window.’


    Every restaurant on the island is hiring wait staff, there are DOZENS of hotels on Cayman, HUNDREDS of gardening jobs, huge supermarkets, A.I. rentals, security jobs…. there are TONS of jobs there!

    My Caymanian friend Nick has three jobs.

    And these women cant find ONE?

    The day I stand on a street corner with a sign for a few hours whining how I cant find a job, is the day I take a long, hard look in the mirror.

    One last point. If this is such a HUGE problem, why are there only six of you.

    What a joke, lol.

  8. Mr. Rolston Anglin, Minister for Labor and Education! do you see the problem you have caused your people?.Caymanians its time for you to Rally to force Mr. Rolston Anglin to resign he has made it harder for all Caymanians to find employment.

    To Matrin Cayman, I happen to be British, I am well aware that there is a toxic relationship existing between x-pats and Caymanians in the workplace. I have heard many confessions from even my own nationals that they just do not like the natives, as they feel they are inferior.There are also reports that the Caymanian partner has no backbone and allows the x-pat partner to misuse and abuse their Caymanian employees who have nowhere to turn. My suggestion is hurry up and enact the Bill of rights do not let the UK nor the legislators hold it up ask the governor to enact the bill of Rights immediately. It will help solve most if not all these problems. The problems facing Caymanians is all about your inaliable rights and freedoms and your rightful privilege to live and work in your OWN COUNTRTY. Caymanians like other nationalities in the world are EMPLOYABLE. If you were smart you would FORCE ROLSTON ANGLIN OUT OF OFFICE! yes its time to replace him because the statements he has made recently as the minister for Labor and Education IS PROOF THAT HE IS A PART OF THE PROBLEM AND HAS NO SOLUTIONS why keep him in that position?

  9. BurningFish – Thank you!!! Finally a Caymanian telling it like it is with no illusions, excuses or the like of his / her countrymen/women.

    Aggie get your head out of the clouds and get back to work. What is your work ethic like? Clearly not that great since you are whining about your impending firing all over the internet. Quit whining, put your head down and work harder. Go above and beyond and show your employer that you are a good worker and that he needs you.

  10. Rolston

    If government would just run itself like a small business without trying to financially support itself through fees, permits, trade and business licenses, and import duties, et cetera… then maybe we will see more jobs created and more stronger companies.
    There are too many retrictive laws here, holding us back from economic progression. Only a radical government for change will make a positive difference.

  11. I do not want to join in the blaming game but merely to point out some troubling facts. The largest and most diverse economy in the world is suffering over 9% unemployment with many graduates from accredited universities in professional fields facing long-term joblessness. Even remaining Communist countries as Cuba are no longer able to guarantee each citizen a job. The only place in the world where each citizen is guaranteed a job is North Korea and no one is applying to join that misery. Economic pressures are testing most of us everywhere. Neither closing our borders to labour nor enflaming divisivness in our community will help us through these difficult times. As in depressions past, we need to help where we can, hold on, and tough this out by going ever-forward.

  12. People who blame others for their own failures will always be just that, Failures constantly looking for a handout. I know plenty of successful hard working Caymanians that hold great jobs. They are where they are because they dont sit on their butts waiting for someone to hand success to them, they go out and get it. These are the type of people that are Caymans future, not the ones that sit on their behinds, although they will always be there for the hard working folks to support. No different than the Welfare recipients of the US that believe its only the governments responsibility to insure their success. They are responsible for creating an environment where success is obtainable but it is up to ourselves to go out grasp success or we will surely be left behind.

  13. Unfortunately Liverpool states exactly why there is so much rift between Expats and Caymanians; because many expats come here with a Holier than Thou attitude and unfortunately they reek of it. But before this is turned into an Expat vs. Caymanian forum, I would like to say that BOTH sides are equally guilty of fanning the flames. There is no innocent party in this matter so dont even try. We just all need to try harder and if going back to school is one way of doing then people come on get off your behinds and get back to school. One more thing; instead of waiting and cursing under your breath maybe more people need to go out there in droves instead of just the six ladies that stood out there with signs. I learned that if you sit around complaining of how bad things are instead of trying to change them or even saying something then things are just going to get worse.

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