Editorial for 03 June: Time to address rollover policy

Business owners and some of their employees
are heading into a dismal abyss if government doesn’t do something about its
current rollover policy.

At least 1,800 holders of what are known as
Term Limit Exemption Permits may be required to leave after the ultimate
expiration of their term limit exemptions in October.

In September 2011, the government suspended
the so-called “rollover” policy, with its seven-year work permit scheme and key
employee status. Expatriates who have reached the seven-year limit have been
allowed to stay on Term Limit Exemption Permits, which expire 28 October this

According to the Immigration Law as it
stands now, they will all have to leave the Cayman Islands after the term limit
exemption expires because they won’t be eligible for permanent residency even
if they had lived here for eight consecutive years.

If lawmakers don’t do something to change
the wording in the law, it could open the door for lawsuits challenging Cayman
over residency status.

Expatriates are supposed to come to our
country and train Caymanians to take over their jobs. More often than not, this
doesn’t happen.

That means that when expats, who are professionals
at their jobs, are forced to leave businesses suffer.

When government does re-address this
issues, it needs to have provisions in place that Caymanians are trained to do
the jobs that people are brought into our country to do.

And that begins at the most basic level –
public education.

The Department of Education – and
government indeed – needs to start working with the private sector to determine
what jobs will be needed in the future and groom our children to fill those

There are many businesses, including Cayman
Free Press, that continue to get job applications from high school leavers that
are full of grammatical and spelling errors. We are doing a disservice to our
children and this country’s future by not ensuring that every child coming out
of our educational system is prepared to enter the workforce.



  1. I heard from someone involved in Cayman education that a survey was done by Government a few years ago, which showed that something like 6 out of 10 Caymanian school-leavers were deficient in basic reading and writing. This survey, if my informant is to be believed, was suppressed. No surprise there. But what do we expect when our former Deputy Premier’s main concern about education was the fact that a public school had hired a Muslim teacher?

    It may be a trite cliche to say that a passport is not a qualification, but it is nevertheless true. Equally, all the on the job training in the world cannot replace a decent school education. The solution to the problem of Caymanian unemployment begins in our schools.

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