Chamber and CIG make up over unemployment

| 05/02/2016 | 2 Comments
CNS Business

Premier Alden McLaughlin at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon, October 2015

(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce and the government have agreed to work together to address the unemployment challenges facing the country. After several weeks of finger pointing between government and the Chamber over the issue of employing local workers, the newly elected Executive Committee said they had agreed to “identify ways to stimulate economic growth which can lead to the creation of new jobs and opportunities for Caymanians and residents”.

“It only makes sense for the Chamber as the most representative voice of the business community to be working in partnership with government to support and propose policies and initiatives that improve the business and labour environment,” said new Chamber President Paul Pearson in a release this week. “We may have differences of opinion and positions on some issues but it is more important that we keep the channels of communication open.”

In his New Year’s Message, Premier Alden McLaughlin criticised the business community for being less than helpful in his government’s efforts to address the number of unemployed Caymanians, which he has called the Achilles heel of his administration, in light of the large number of expatriate workers on permits.

“There is a reluctance these days on the part of many businesses to take on Caymanians and invest in training them to do the job,” he said.

Last week, however, the outgoing president, Barry Bodden, was critical of government and said his membership was not to blame for Cayman’s unemployment woes.

However, after several months of finger pointing and blaming each other, the public and private sectors now appear to be on the same page and the Chamber’s Executive Committee and the government caucus have agreed to meet quarterly.

“I am pleased that a new president and Executive Committee of the Chamber has provided the opportunity of a renewed partnership between government and the Chamber of Commerce,” McLaughlin said in the Chamber release. “I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship which serves  the interest of both the business community and the people of the Cayman Islands.”

Premier the Hon. Alden McLaughlin  In the weeks ahead, a special presentation about the new initiative will be delivered to the Chamber Council and the general membership so that more businesses in various sectors can learn how they can get involved. Education, Employment and Gender Affairs Minister the Hon. Tara Rivers confirmed that the majority of the recommendations submitted by the Chamber in August as part of the consultation period on the Labour Relations Bill have been accepted. A revised draft bill is being finalised and will be released for further public consultation in the weeks ahead.

Government is currently rolling out its new and the premier has appointed Pearson to serve on the task force for government’s new Ready2work KY initiative, a subsidised welfare to work project.

The Chamber said that in the weeks ahead, a presentation about the new programme would be delivered to the general membership so that more businesses in various sectors can learn how they can get involved.

According to the organisation, Employment Minister Tara Rivers has confirmed that the majority of the recommendations it submitted in August as part of the consultation period on the Labour Relations Bill have been accepted. “A revised draft bill is being finalised and will be released for further public consultation in the weeks ahead,” the Chamber stated.

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Category: Employment, Local Business

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    chamber should tell cig to go run and jump….

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