Few college degree-holders registered with NWDA

Fewer than 100 Caymanians with university degrees who are unemployed are currently registered with the National Workforce Development Agency, government officials confirmed Monday.

Tasha Ebanks Garcia
Tasha Ebanks Garcia

Ministry of Employment deputy chief officer Tasha Ebanks Garcia said this does not necessarily represent all local degree-holding graduates who are out of work since those individuals are not required to register.

However, Ms. Ebanks Garcia said the ministry will put a policy in place by September that will require all government scholarship recipients to register with the NWDA – which operates as government’s employment agency – in order to track their progress when they come back to Cayman.

Ms. Ebanks Garcia’s statements were made in response to North Side MLA Ezzard Miller’s comment Monday that it was a “statistical fact” that many Caymanians who complete their education at university on government scholarships are now unemployed.

According to workforce development agency statistics, as of last month, there are 11 Caymanians with master’s degrees unemployed and registered with the agency. There are 43 with bachelor’s [four-year] degrees and 28 who have associate degrees who are without work.

Employment Minister Tara Rivers also pointed out during the discussion Monday in Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee that the NWDA had placed 239 people registered with the agency in jobs between July 2015 and last month.

“There is progress as it relates to the National Workforce Development Agency assisting people,” Minister Rivers said.

This progress is not translating to constituents in the George Town area, MLA Winston Connolly said.

“I’m getting a number of people who are highly qualified … they’ve said that they’ve applied for more than 50 jobs in the last two months and have not yet even gotten a response,” Mr. Connolly said. He asked how government would address Caymanian job seekers who “feel that no one is looking out for them.”

The workforce development agency has attempted to keep better track of the results of local job applications since 2014, but as of now, local employers are not required to register their available positions with the NWDA. Many companies choose to voluntarily register their positions.

If the employer does register with the agency, Ms. Ebanks Garcia said, Immigration Department and workforce agency staff can see information regarding all individuals who have applied for the position.

Any decision to award a job to a particular person is up to the employer, she said. However, Cayman Islands Immigration Law requires any company to hire a suitably qualified Caymanian for an available position first. In cases where violations are reported, the NWDA registration system would provide more information regarding specific cases, Ms. Ebanks Garcia said.

“The system itself will not assess the suitability of a person for a post,” she added. Minister Rivers said the system gets rid of the “he said, she said” aspect of local job applications that now exists when a Caymanian states he or she has applied for a position but not been hired.

“Before, you heard about people applying for jobs and those applications falling into the file with no ability to see who has applied,” Minister Rivers said.

A proposal to make registering all private sector jobs with the NWDA mandatory will go before the Cabinet in the next four weeks, Ms. Ebanks Garcia said. It will be up to elected leaders to decide whether they accept those plans, she said.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. According to workforce development agency statistics, as of last month, there are 11 Caymanians with master’s degrees unemployed and registered with the agency. There are 43 with bachelor’s [four-year] degrees and 28 who have associate degrees who are without work.

    And how many degreed or non-degreed work-permit holders in jobs that these educated, degreed Caymanians should be holding ?

    The more we look..the more we find, about the imbalances in this equation of immigration of non-nationals and the labour situation in the country.

    It appears that some of the country’s leading politicians would have us dis-connect this equation and view each segment seperately but this can only work with the non-educa

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  2. According to workforce development agency statistics, as of last month, there are 11 Caymanians with master’s degrees unemployed and registered with the agency. There are 43 with bachelor’s [four-year] degrees and 28 who have associate degrees who are without work.

    For a population as small as Cayman’s, not counting immigrant workers, that is a high percentage of educated, un-employed people if those numbers are anywhere near accurate.

    And how many work-permit holders in those jobs for which these educated, qualified Caymanians remain un-employed ?

    It appears that some leading politicians would have us disconnect the equation between economic immigration (immigration for employment purposes only) and the unemployment in the country that impacts the country’s nationals.

    The question has to be asked…why are there un-employed educated nationals in Cayman while 22+000 economic immigrants reside and work here.

    And it would be a fallacy to think that all of those 22,00 immigrants are non-skilled, common labourers, as some would have us believe as well or that all are specialised, uniquely qualified professionals for which there are no local competitors for their jobs.

    How long can this crucial issue and debate on a national scale be avoided ?

    It has to become a serious topic of national interest at some point in time or some people are simply not looking out for their own interests and allowing others to stroll in and take what should belong to them.

    Or allow others to sell what belongs to them for the price of a work permit fee.

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  3. Who are the one’s that Government is protecting in Cayman Islands ?
    When government collect $90 million in work permits annually . The work permit holders send $ 120 million out of the Islands economy annually . The employer is able to pay the employees minimum wage or below , those employer’s are able to save about $ 150 million annual in wages . Where is the $150 millions going ?

    While qualified Caymanians are out of a job , looking for a job , loosing their house and property, and starving .
    While the NWDA is telling those qualified Caymanians ” soon come” a system where they can register , and if the politicians agree with the system .
    All I can tell them politicians is that I think that those un-employed Caymanians are seeing what they are doing to them .

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