Editorial for 06 October: In this instance rollover fails

 

If someone wants to see exactly how the
rollover programme isn’t working, take a look at what’s going on at Wesleyan
Holiness Church in George Town.

There the pastor and parishioners – some of
which are expatriates – are doing many of the right things.

The realised there was a crime problem on
Grand Cayman and took measures to do what they could to help.

They began a mentorship programme to teach
young people special trades and skills.

As Pastor Dennis Delisser rightly said,
“One of the root causes of crime was lack of employment, lack of education,
lack of skills”. So they started a trade class.

One of those who has been instrumental in
getting young people motivated was Larry Powell, an electrician by trade and a
Jamaican by birth.

Now he’s scheduled to be rolled over.

And the young men who he has been
instrumental in training, getting jobs and – more importantly – getting off the
streets and away from lives of crime are devastated.

One of those young men sent a letter to
media houses Monday afternoon seeking out help in getting Mr. Powell to remain
on our shores.

The young writer warns that if Mr. Powell
is forced to leave Grand Cayman, many of those in the programme will lose faith
and go back to where they came from.

Larry Powell has volunteered in the Cayman
Islands to teach our young Caymanian men skills to get them gainfully employed.
He’s helped keep a few away from lives of crime.

And our thanks to him is to send him away
from our shores and the important work he’s been doing.

This is where the rollover policy is
entirely wrong.

The young writer warns that when Mr. Powell
leaves Cayman, crime will increase. Are we listening?

And more importantly, are we going to do
anything about it?

If Mr. Powell leaves we hope there is
someone with his dedication and inspiration to step into his large shoes to
continue training our young men and offering them hope.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Editor – contrary to your headline in this instance rollover would work perfectly. He fits the criteria for Key Employee – but you have not mentioned that factor? You should perhaps ask his employer why the employer seems to be having him rolled over.

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  2. For clarity, as Mr. Powell is a licensed master electrician, do you know whether or not his (unidentified) employer had considered him to be a key employee and had applied to the work permit/Immigration board for him to be designated as such, which, if granted, would have allowed him to continue working and volunteering in Cayman for another two years?

    Without a paying job to meet his personal expenses and obligations, how would it be possible for Mr. Powell to continue on a volunteer basis with this worthy youth project?

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  3. Unfortunately for Mr. Powell, Jamaican electricians are worth about as much as divemasters. They’re about a dime a dozen and I’m sure his employer knows that.

    Ok, he’s a Master Electrician. That’s probably worth a couple dollars more than the average, but rollover was put in place to keep Jamaicans from getting residency/status, and for better or for worse, that’s what’s happening here.

    Caymanians should be more careful about what they wish for.

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