'Tall challenge' to hire more Caymanians

The Cayman Islands civil service now employs more than 2,600 Caymanians – about 74 percent of the central government’s total workforce, according to Deputy Governor Franz Manderson.

However, substantially increasing the number of local hires in the central government service may prove to be a “tall challenge,” considering the way the public sector staff is structured at the moment, Mr. Manderson told lawmakers this week.

The latest government human resources report, for the government’s 2013/14 budget year, had a total of 947 non-Caymanians working in the civil service, roughly 26.5 percent of the total workforce, not including statutory authorities and government-owned companies.

About 70 percent of those non-Caymanian workers, more than 650 people, are employed in just four government departments, Mr. Manderson said.

The Education Department accounted for the largest percentage of non-Caymanian workers in the civil service, employing a total of 32 percent of all non-Caymanian civil service workers. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service employs about 25 percent of all non-Caymanian government workers, Mr. Manderson said.

Her Majesty’s Prisons Service employs about 8 percent of all non-Caymanian workers in the civil service, and the Department of Children and Family Services employs about 5 percent of the government’s non-Caymanian workforce.

More than half of the employees of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service were listed as non-Caymanian, according to the human resources report. Of the RCIPS’s 449-person staff, including police officers and civilian workers, 232 (51.7 percent) were non-Caymanian.

The Department of Education reported 265 of its 676 employees (nearly 40 percent) were non-Caymanian. However, that figure does not separate out public school teachers, of whom about 52 percent are non-Caymanians, the latest figures from 2013 show.

Other departments within government employ significant numbers of non-Caymanian employees, but they are not large enough to significantly change the overall percentages within the service, the government 2013/14 HR audit report showed.

For instance, in public safety communications (911), 12 of its 21 employees in the public safety communications office (about 57 percent) were listed as non-Caymanians. The government’s legal affairs office listed 28 of its 51 employees (55 percent) as non-Caymanian. Thirteen of 17 employees in the auditor general’s office were non-Caymanian, according to the report.

Mr. Manderson said Monday that the situation would improve and that the government had some major successes to report on Caymanian employment and promotion within the civil service.

During 2014, 267 civil servants had been given promotions or had their salaries increased due to outstanding job performance evaluations. About 89 percent of those pay increases were given to Caymanians, he said.

“There are healthy signs of Caymanians obtaining senior management positions in the civil service,” Mr. Manderson said.

At the other end of the hiring spectrum, the government hired 87 Caymanian interns during the past summer and intended to have a similar summer internship program later this year, the deputy governor said.