Prime Minister Philip Davis yesterday put employers on notice that foreigners will not be given permission to work where there are suitably qualified Bahamians living locally or abroad, calling it “unacceptable” for an employer to be seeking the renewal of a work permit after 10 to 15 years.
Prime Minister Davis during his wrap-up to the budget debate noted that government has increased work permit fees which will go into an Immigration Levy Fund for purposes associated with Immigration Enforcement, National Health and Wellness and Educational programmes.
He went on to note” “We accept that in some instances foreigners are required to fill positions where expertise and experience does not reside locally. However, I want to make it clear to employers that in these instances we expect a Bahamian to understudy and be trained for that position.
“The Department of Immigration, and by extension the government, should not find itself in a position where an employer is asking us to renew a work permit after 10 to 15 years. This is unacceptable, especially when our database at the Department of Immigration shows that Bahamians are qualified to fill the position.”
Prime Minister Davis added: “I’ve asked the Department of Labour to hold these employers accountable and deny renewal applications where we have suitably qualified Bahamians living here or abroad. Enough is enough.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that a prime example of the partnership he expects is the Culinary and Hospitality bridging programme at the University of The Bahamas.